Multi-faceted talent Prabhudheva, an actor, choreographer and filmmaker who has had a glorious career of almost three decades in Indian cinema, says had never planned to become a director or producer.
Coming up next on his platter of film productions is “Devi”, a Tamil horror thriller with a pinch of comedy.
It has been over a decade since Prabhudeva made his directorial debut with 2004 Telugu hit, “Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana”. Looking back at his career, he said: “I was choreographing a song for Telugu film ‘Varsham’ when producer MS Raju asked me if I’d like to direct a film for him. I said ‘yes’ in just five seconds.
“Likewise, when my close friend Ganesh suggested he would start a production company under my name, I gladly supported him.”
Popular for helming films such as “Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana” and “Rowdy Rathore”, Prabhudheva admitted that he had never planned the course of his career.
As the 43-year old gears up for the release of horror-comedy “Devi”, his maiden production, he says it’s been his long time desire to direct a horror film.
In “Devi”, he has played the lead, and the film also releases in Telugu as “Abhinetri” and in Hindi as “Tutak Tutak Tutiya” on Friday.
“The film was originally supposed to be made with another hero and when things didn’t work out, director Vijay convinced me to play the part. I really liked the story and since I’ve always wanted to direct a horror film, I thought why not act in one first,” he said and added that his inclusion into the project increased the scope for dance.
Over the last few years, southern cinema has been inundated with horror comedies. Nevertheless, Prabhudheva is confident that “Devi” will stand out.
“It’s an entertainer with an underlying message. Even though we’ve been promoting the film as a horror comedy, audiences will never get to see the ghost in the film. But the film is packed with thrills and that’s what makes it even more special,” he added.
The movie also features Sonu Sood and actress Tamannaah Bhatia.
Asked if it was difficult to maintain the nativity while shooting in three languages, Prabhudheva said the actors didn’t find it challenging.
“The process took a toll on the technicians. Sonu (Sood), Tamannaah and I have already worked in all the three languages, so we didn’t find it difficult. Moreover, the story is of a south Indian couple moving to Mumbai, and hence, it wasn’t difficult to adapt,” he said.
Unarguably, one of the most successful commercial directors, Prabhudeva says he misses choreography.
“It’s my first love and it still gives me a high,” he said, denying reports that he has been roped in to choreograph a song in Chiranjeevi-starrer “Khaidi No. 150”.
“I haven’t been approached yet. But if they do, I would love to take up the offer. Chiranjeevi is one of the best dancers in the country and it would be fun to work with him,” he said.
Prod him about the secret to his fit physique, and pat comes the reply: “I’m a vegetarian and I don’t eat anything after seven in the evening. I also have full control over my mind, and it’s been the way since I started off and I believe it reflects on my body.”