Manoj Manchu, son of Telugu superstar Mohan Babu who shot to fame with 'Bindaas' and 'Vedam' in Telugu, is all set to make his debut in Tamil with 'Varuvaan Thalaivan' (VT). A socio fantasy being made in Tamil and Telugu ('Oo Kodathara? Ulikki Padathara?'), VT is supposed to release by the end of this month. Currently, postproduction and CG work is going on in Chennai.
Ask Manoj, who is also the producer of the film, why he wants to launch himself in Tamil with VT, and he says, “The script is the first reason. The film need not be fixed to a particular location and the role offers a lot of scope to perform. As an actor, you would want to do this role as it has different shades to it.”
According to Manoj, VT will be a movie like 'Chandramukhi' with a dash of dark comedy. The actor was so impressed with the script that debutant director Sekhar Raja narrated and decided to produce the film himself though others were hesitant to invest for it. According to him, the movie has been made at Rs 26 crore with a palace set alone that cost him Rs 6 crore.
Telugu superstar Balakrishna is playing a zamindar and, interestingly, it will be his first direct Tamil film and a multi-starrer as well. The film also has actors Prabhu and Sonu Sood playing important roles while Deeksha Seth plays the heroine.
Manoj’s sister Lakshmi Manchu is also playing an important role in the film and Manoj says her role will get all the attention though it has only limited on screen presence.
In fact, 'Vaanam' should have been Manoj’s debut in Tamil, but he backed off from the role (later done by actor Bharath) in Tamil despite a request from his close friend Simbhu. This was because he had already reprised the role in the Telugu version. But the young lad says he is ready to join hands with Simbu if they get the right script. “Simbu and I have been close friends since school days. Then I had to move to Hyderabad in 2003,” says Manoj.
The actor says he still feels at home in Chennai and wants to shine in Kollywood as well. “Hereafter, all my Telugu films will be dubbedfor Kollywood. Tamil will be my priority too,” he says.
Though he speaks Tamil fluently, he hasn’t decided about dubbing for VT yet. “I’m not sure if I will dub for 'Varuvan Thalaivan',” he says.