Yatra is a sensational movie that is all set for a grand release on the 8th of February 2019. Featuring one of the most noted actors of Malayalam, Mammootty in the lead role, Yatra is going to focus on all the important events and decisions taken by Y.S.Rajasekhar Reddy in his career as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. When we talk about, Y.S.Rajasekhar Reddy, his famous Padayatra comes to mind and that is the primary reason, this movie was titled as Yatra.
Over a cup of coffee, Mammootty revealed many things about himself and the role he played in Yatra. More on that in Mammootty’s words.
Did you ever question yourself that Yatra can actually stir the emotions of the public to vote for a particular party? Did you feel that when you read the script?
I read the script of Yatra and I was impressed by it. Yatra is not just walking. It is about knowing and meeting people from different walks of life. It’s talking to them, discussing their issues and emotions. It is also about finding solutions to their problems and being there for them. That is the way the script is made. Walking for two hours is boring. Incidents that happen to him, the kind of people he meets is what shaped the character. He is listening to their problems.
Y.S.Rajasekhar Reddy was a politician who traveled in the remote villages of the Telugu states. He was a hero of sorts. How tough was it for you to learn the nuances of the language and his mannerisms?
I have a flair for languages. I love to speak in many languages. I just learned it.
Did you do any exercise to get the body language of YSR right?
No. Actually, I did not try to mimic him at all. I wanted to get the soul of his character right. It was never about walking like him, talking like him and looking like him. He is an entirely different personality. Once I am YSR in the mind, I wave my hand or I talk to people, I become him.
During the conversations and interactions you had with people in Andhra Pradesh, were you reminded of the issues the public in Kerala are currently facing?
People are the same everywhere. They just speak a different language. Poverty has the same color. There were some scenes I was moved and wanted to react. However, that is not what is expected of the character. Sometimes, I controlled myself because I constantly remind myself I am doing a role.
Are you interested in politics?
We, being in a democratic country, we should be interested in politics.
Is there a chance you will join politics?
It’s already been 38 years in the film industry for me. I do not feel the need to be in politics. The film industry is the place for me.
We heard you dubbed for your role in Yatra. Is that true?
Yes. I do not know how it came out. I find great satisfaction. However, it is my director and my producers who should be happy about the outcome. When you see the movie, I think we have perfected.
You have worked with Telugu directors such as Kodi Ramakrishna. How do you think the Telugu film industry transitioned in the last couple of years?
Why only Telugu? Every industry is under transition and undergoing change.
Have you worked with other South Indian languages?
My Tamil film, Peranbu is releasing today in Hyderabad.
When you sign a movie, what do you usually look for?
The story, character, director, producers..basically everything.
You complete the shoot of a movie in 50- 60 days and then move on to the next one. At least, 5 movies of yours are out every year even at this age. What is your driving force?
This is my profession and I am supposed to work like this. The movie is my passion. There is no rule I do 5 movies a year.
Though Mammootty is such a talented and senior actor, he was absolutely humble and to the point. It adds to his charm and personality.