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I am yet to know the meaning of Celebrity and Legend - Mohan Babu

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Padmasree Dr Mohan Babu aka Manchu Bhaktavatsalam Naidu is popularly known as the ‘Dialogue King’, the ‘Collection King’ and of course ‘Nataprapurna’. He started his film career in 1975 as a villain in ‘Swargam-Narakam’ directed by Dasari Narayana Rao and did more than 500 films with many memorable roles in his 34 years of his film career.

Padmasree Dr Mohan Babu aka Manchu Bhaktavatsalam Naidu is popularly known as the ‘Dialogue King’, the ‘Collection King’ and of course ‘Nataprapurna’. He started his film career in 1975 as a villain in ‘Swargam-Narakam’ directed by Dasari Narayana Rao and did more than 500 films with many memorable roles in his 34 years of his film career. Today, the 22nd of Novemeber, 2009, the actor stepped into his 35th year by acting and producing ‘Saleem’, the 50th film under his home banner Sri Lakshmi Prasanna Movies is going to release shortly. On this eve he spoke to the media and shared some of his views. Some Excerpts:

Speaking about his background Mohan Babu said, “I hail from a middle class family and my father was a school teacher. By the grace of God I’ve reached a stage where I’m known to all as a well noted actor, a producer and the owner of a college institution. My hard work and self-determination paid off. I never forget my past because I walked of the pathway that is strewn with thorns and thistles.”

About his profession: “I respect my profession at par with my mother. I’m thankful to God for giving me a good life as an actor. I am the only actor in India who produced 50 films till date. As a producer I know the pain while producing a film. I would have said a word or two in anger but that doesn’t mean that I am harsh always. My intention is to speak the truth and fight for the justice. Can anyone say that they incurred losses due to me either in film field or politics? People may say that I am a bit emotional, but if someone proves that I’m a dishonest person I will suicide myself the very next minute.”

Regretting his mistake he said, “My only mistake in life was the time I ignored my big brother Rama Rao garu and walked away from him. I accept my mistake and often find myself regretting that decision. Apart from that I never did any mistake in my life so far. Can anyone say that Mohan Babu comes to shooting spot in a drunken state? No, never! Because I am a self-disciplined person not only on sets but also off the sets. But still, there are rumors circulating that Mohan Babu beats up heroines on sets. It was only during the time of ‘Vishnu’ making, the heroine did not get along well with the director therefore we had a big argument. From then onwards some of them who are against me started to spread negative news about me only to damage my image.”

About Corporate Companies: “It’s always good if the producers join hands with corporate companies because by doing so we can exchange our ideas and learn more about each other. Therefore I’ve partnered with Reliance Big Cinema for producing ‘Saleem’. Another point to be noted is if the same corporate houses make films on their own then it is a big loss to the film industry as they are not aware of the real talents, therefore they would start treating everyone equally. In this line only the intermediaries will enjoy the profits and not anyone else.”

It is not villain but anti-hero: “Villian is not the appropriate word for negative shade roles. You can call it as anti-hero because he talks openly what he thinks in his mind. According to me anti-hero has the ability to speak boldly. Ravana is the best example for anti-hero because he too has many good qualities in him. That is why I like to do anti-hero roles.”

Come out of caste feeling: “For God sake I request everyone to stop thinking about castes. No person can grow only with the support of his caste people. He needs to have the people’s support all over. If my film becomes hit, that doesn’t mean that only my caste people are watching it. For whatever I am today I will give credit to the people and not my caste. With these caste feelings some people are only dividing into groups and trying to split the rest also.”

Opinion on celebrity and legend: “I’m yet to know the meaning of words “Celebrity” and “Legend”. I will definitely learn if someone will teach me. As far as I know about me, I’m neither a celebrity nor a legend, but just a good actor”, Mohan Babu concluded in style.

Updated on April 25, 2020