Nani says he and Shahid Kapoor haven’t met for this reason: ‘Will meet after Jersey’s release’ 

As Shyam Singha Roy released in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam on December 24, Nani interacted with the media in Hyderabad and revealed his journey with the film’s team. Directed by Rahul Sankrityan of Taxiwala fame, the movie sees Nani in dual roles and co-stars Sai Pallavi and Krithi Shetty. Mickey J Meyer composed the music, and Sanu John Varghese handled the cinematography for this Venkat Boyanapalli production. Here are the excerpts…

How are you excited as your film is releasing in the theatres after two years?

I am a fanboy of cinema theatres. After two years, I am going to experience the theatre vibe among the audience. So, I am super excited about my new release.

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For the first time, you have starred in a period film.

Period dramas should be made with strong stories. Budget-wise they involve a lot of risks. We can convince the audience only when we have the right technicians who can create that feel on the screen. Shyam Singha Roy has an amazing story. We have the perfect cast, and a good crew as well.

Your makeover and the film’s story are reminiscent of Kamal Haasan‘s Nayakudu.

Shyam Singha Roy is a different story with a different vibe and mood. Since I am a fan of Kamal Haasan sir, there may be a bit of influence of him on my makeover in the film.

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What triggered you to do this film?

There are four episodes in the film that will leave the audience on an emotional high. They gelled beautifully in the story.

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How was your journey with director Rahul Sankrityan?

Rahul has the same qualities as Jersey director Gowtam Tinnanuri. They talk less and are centred. We all were in shock when Rahul Sankrityan showed excitement about the film at its pre-release event. I have never seen him like that before. Probably, these kinds of people save their energy to express themselves in certain moments (laughs). He dealt with the movie with amazing detailing, clarity, and vision.

What kind of efforts have you put in to speak Bengali in the movie?

During the shoot, we have a Bengali assistant director and other team members who know Bengali to help us to bring the nuances and authenticity to the language.

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For whom does the hero fight in the film – against the devadasi system or for his love?

The protagonist in the movie fights against different forms of evil. Shyam Singha Roy is a fictional character, and he is an atheist. So, anger is an inbuilt in him. But how would it be if he falls in love or how he deals with the social barriers make this film an epic love story.

Sirivennela Sitharama Sastry wrote his last song for Shyam Singha Roy. Tell us about it?

One day, Rahul called me and said Sitharama Sastry told him that Sirivennela song was going to be his last song. But we didn’t expect that to happen. In the song, he tells the whole story of the movie. It makes sense if you watch the film. No one can write like him. It was the end of the era. It is a blessing that he wrote such a song for Shyam Singh Roy, and the onus is on us to celebrate him. The film begins with a tribute card to him.

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Jersey is all set for a release in Bollywood soon. Did you meet Shahid Kapoor?

Personally, we haven’t met yet. When I was in Mumbai for a shoot, director Gowtam told me that Shahid wanted to meet me once. However, Shahid was busy with a daytime shoot while I was busy with a night shoot. So, nothing materialized at that time. We may meet post the release of Jersey.

Tell us about your upcoming projects?

Ante Sundaraniki is close to completion, and it is likely to release in April. Dasara is a pure raw, rustic, and adrenaline-rush of a film, set in Telangana. These movies will release in all South Indian languages.

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