Interview with Harish Shankar

Harish Shankar was 19-years old when Pawan Kalyan made his debut with Akkada Ammayi Ikkada Abbayi. A self confessed fan of the Power Star, he is pleased to have got the opportunity to direct his favorite actor in Gabbar Singh. In an exclusive interview the director shares his experience of working with his childhood hero.

How did Gabbar Singh project happen?Pawan Kalyan watched Dabangg and was very impressed with it. He called me one day and asked me whether I would remake it in Telugu. I said ‘Yes’!

But why Harish Shankar and why not someone else? I approached Pawan Kalyan some time back and narrated a script. He liked it but the project did not materialize. Perhaps, Pawan thought I could do good job of direct this movie and offered me the opportunity.

Tell us about Pawan Kalyan’s characterization Pawan Kalyan’s characterization will be very unique and entertaining all through. It is a role that he has never done in his career so far. His body language and mannerisms are going to thrill the audiences.

It was speculated that Pawan’s role in the movie is inspired by the charcter he played in Gudumba Shankar. Is that true?

Pawan Kalyan is not playing a cop in the movie, he just sports a Khaki uniform (smiles). His role is completely different from the one he played in Gudumba Shankar. His dialogue delivery is going to be something to watch out for. Also, we did not take the character as it is from the Hindi version, but customized it to suit the nativity and sensibilities of the local audience.

Devi Sri Prasad’s music has once again hit the bull’s-eye The response for the audio has been terrific and Kevvu Keka has turned out to be an instant chartbuster. Devi Sri Prasad’s music has been a huge asset and his background score has elevated the tempo of the film a few notches.

Tell us about Shruti Hassan Shruti Hassan is an amazing actress and has done a great job. This film will surely bring her many offers and I will not be surprised if she goes on to become one of top actresses in the business soon.

What can the fans expect from this film? Gabbar Singh is going to be a visual feast for the fans. It’s a complete entertainer laced with comedy, sentiment, action and drama. I’ve been getting lot of compliments about Pawan Kalyan’s look and styling in the movie. The credit for it goes to the Malayalam cameraman Jayanan Vincent. He’s a seasoned professional and knew how to showcase Pawan to bring back those old memories for the fans. Rajesh More who took care of Pawan’s styling in movie also deserves a pat on the back for it.

Why did it take so long to finalize the casting for item song? We had planned to shoot the song after the audio release. But as it turned out a lot of names started doing the rounds in the media .We wanted to put an end to all the confusion surrounding the item number so eventually signed up Malaika Arora. She’s done a phenomenal job.

So does the movie carry any message? Yes, the movie carries a message – police antey janalani bhayapettey vaadu kaadu…janaala bhayam pogottey vaadu. (Policeman is one who removes fear out of the minds of the people and not the one who gets people scared). And cops will be proud after watching the film.

What is your next project? I would be directing Jr. NTR and the film would be produced by Kodali Nani. The movie is likely to begin shooting in September.