Actor Jaggesh speaks to Chitraloka.com about his new movie Melkote Manja and his future plans. Jaggesh has played the lead role in the film apart from writing the script and directing the film. Here are excerpts from the interview.
Why the sudden decision to direct a film?
It was not sudden. Direction is not new to me. Officially Guru is the first and only film I have directed till now and Melkote Manja is my second. But unofficially I have directed some of my own films in which I was seen by others only as an actor. I do not wish to tell which films.
Why did you make Melkote Manja your return vehicle as director?
The producer R Krishna is the inspiration for this film. He is a fan of mine. Some people cheated him misusing my name. He is not a wealthy man and earns a living by preparing and selling chips and condiments. He lost the only property he had to the cheating. I felt very sorry for him and wrote the story with this cheating incident as the peg point. I decided to direct the film as well. It was my responsibility to help him, so I wrote the script, dialogues and even one lyrics for Melkote Manja.
How could you manage both acting and direction at the same time?
I agree it is not easy. But direction is not new to me as I said. Even in my earlier films I would be at least part of the discussion on the scenes with the directors. I was involved in the film making process and did not stay on the sets only as an actor. If you see how I have made the shot compositions you will realise that I am not new to direction. Managing hundreds of people on the sets is not easy. It was like maintains a big joint family day after day. I tried to take as minimum takes and shots as possible through planning. I do not believe in 10-15 takes. Usually the first one is the best. That way I kept the actors in full energy including me.
What is Melkote Manja's story?
It is about a conman who cheats people. It is in his nature to cheat. Nobody taught him or inspired him to cheat but he cannot come out of his habit. It is narrated in a humorous way and I have not lost sight of entertainment. It is afterall a comedy film. The film is not about one man but human nature. A cheat cannot survive if all the other people are cunning. Innocent people always get cheated.
What are your future projects?
Apart from my acting assignments I am also planning to direct two more films. I will announce them very soon.