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9 Hours has a twist in each episode: Taraka Ratna & Madhu Shalini

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'9 Hours' stars Taraka Ratna as a cop and Madhu Shalini as a journalist. The period web series has been created by director Krish Jagarlamudi. The 9-episode series (with each episode running into 30-35 minutes) will start streaming from June 2 on Disney+Hotstar. In this interview, the two actors talk about the series at length. They also mention what is unique about the thriller.

Taraka Ratna:

The entire story unfolds over a span of nine hours. Each episode is about what happens within one hour. It is commonplace for people to call their film/web series unique. '9 Hours' is genuinely lovely. The viewer will surely connect with its content.

This is no adaptation of 'Money Heist' or something. The subject is entirely different. The bank robbery portions are just 40% of the story. The characters' emotions are what the series is about. The police-robbers segment becomes curious because of the lack of technological advancement in the 1980s. For those who are outside, they are clueless about what is going on inside. The series is full of twists.

I totally loved playing the character. I could connect with each and every character when I watched the end product. It's a human drama driven by human sensibilities. You have to watch it with your family. There is no trace of vulgarity, or adult content.

I got to work with two amazing people: Niranjan Kaushik and Jacob Verghese. The way they drove the story is impeccable. With movies, you have time constraints. A web series runs into 5-6 hours and the long run-time lets the director elaborate on emotions.

The script was clear-cut. The directors' vision was neat. It was more fun than challenging. I have known Ravi Varma, Banerjee, Jwala Koti for many years. I have also worked with Vinod Kumar in the past on a film. I got to learn a lot.

If the content is gripping, the audience won't expect adult content just because you are offering them a web series.

I love the characters I played in films like 'Amaravathi' and 'Raja Cheyyi Vesthe'. As a character, I have never restricted myself in terms of experimentation. Ups and downs are common in all lives. I am happy that I am being considered for roles to this day.

I don't know how the rumour about me doing Mahesh Babu's 28th film went out. Someone who runs a fake account floated the rumour. But if the project comes my way, I will be open to it!

I am not on social media. People with no work pass ignorant comments on social media. They write as if they have access to me personally! I don't like to be on such a platform. I can't be giving explanations.

Madhu Shalini:

I have played a journalist named Chitra in the series. The plot unfolds in the mid-1980s. I am a reporter who is present at the crime scene. Niranjan, one of the journalists, was a journalist himself. He shared his experiences with me, how they functioned in the media, and how they found communicating quite hard in those days. Chitra speaks her mind. She doesn't back off. She is uncompromising. It was taboo for women to be in the media in those days, unlike today. There is a woman empowerment angle but '9 Hours' is essentially about human emotions.

This is the first time I got to work with Taraka Ratna although both of us have been around for many years.

Krish Jagarlamudi is a phenomenal filmmaker. I was very happy that someone like him thought about me for a role like this. It was a surreal experience to collaborate with him. I have followed his work for years.

We workshopped together before the shoot began. The workshops really helped us. We were well-prepared. The prep really helped us. None of us was clueless or had to panic. This is an unpredictable series, story-wise. Every episode has got an unexpected twist or so.

I like only a few scripts. I may not be doing films in Telugu but I have had releases in other languages. Only last month, I had a release in Tamil. It's nice to not be doing the same roles. I am fortunate that nice scripts have found me over the years.

My family members have watched '9 Hours' and they were really excited. It is a binge-worthy series. It raises the bar in the Telugu OTT segment.  

Updated on May 30, 2022