More than a decade after the blockbuster Rangam (Ko in Tamil), Jiiva steps into Telugu cinema with Yatra 2, a political drama directed by Mahi V Raghav. The film, set to release on February 8, is a sequel to the Mammootty-starrer Yatra. In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, Jiiva delves into his role as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, the challenges he faced, and his plans for the future.
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Hesitations and Preparations
Initially hesitant to take on the role in Yatra 2, Jiiva acknowledges the enormity of portraying Jagan and the language barrier. Despite not dubbing for himself, Jiiva dedicated two months to mastering Telugu dialogues, emphasizing the responsibility he felt towards accurately portraying the character.
Artistic Perspective on Political Drama
Addressing the political undertones in Yatra 2, Jiiva emphasizes his detachment from politics, viewing the film as a son’s commitment to his father. Describing the film in cinematic terms, he draws parallels to classics like Deiva Magan or The Godfather, approaching the project solely from an artistic standpoint.
Telugu Lead Debut and Career Choices
Yatra 2 marks Jiiva’s first lead role in a direct Telugu film, despite his cameo appearances in Size Zero and Custody. Reflecting on his journey, Jiiva reveals a 12-year wait for an exciting Telugu offer, citing the impact of Mammootty’s performance in Yatra and his confidence in director Mahi’s ability to extract the best from actors.
Nostalgic Shoot in Hyderabad
A Chennai native with roots in Telugu cinema, Jiiva shares his nostalgic experience shooting in Hyderabad. Recalling childhood memories spent with his father RB Choudary, a renowned Telugu film producer, Jiiva expresses the joy of reliving those moments and overcoming language barriers.
Future Endeavors and Passion Projects
Despite a quiet 2023, Jiiva anticipates a busy 2024. Beyond acting, he reveals plans to launch an indie music label, scouting for talent nationwide. Passionate about music, Jiiva is set to explore and promote new artists, with scouting missions planned in Tamil Nadu, Mumbai, and Pondicherry.