Actor Manchu Manoj, who will be seen playing a Sri Lankan leader in his upcoming Telugu-Tamil bilingual “Okkadu Migiladu”, gained 20 kg to play his part and later shed 10 kg to play a role in another film.
“The role of the Sri Lankan leader required me to look huge and overweight. Hence, I gained about 20 kg. After we finished shooting that portion, I went and shot for another film called ‘Gunturodu’. In the process, I lost 10 kg to play a student union leader,” Manoj told IANS.
The film, slated to hit the screens in September, will release in Tamil as “Naan Thirimba Varuven”.
The story is set in two time periods — 1990 and 2017.
“We have captured the tension of Ceylon in the 1990s as realistically as possible. The film is based on an untold true story. It’s a very emotional story and focuses on the lives of those (Eelam Tamils) who die tragic deaths during that period,” he said.
Asked if his role is inspired from late LTTE chief Prabhakaran, Manoj said: “We haven’t used names in the film. Let it be that way. I play a very intense role and I’m proud to have accepted this project.”
Manoj says the film’s screenplay will be much talked about.
“Remember how ‘Rang De Basanti’ merged two stories set in different eras beautifully? We have attempted something very similar. I’m not saying we have copied the template,” he said, heaping praise on his director Ajay Nuthakki.
Films set against the backdrop of Sri Lankan war usually find themselves in controversies. Manoj says he isn’t worried about any kind of opposition.
“We are ready to screen our film when faced with any kind of opposition. We’ve merely recreated history. We haven’t taken sides or blamed anyone for what happened with the people in Sri Lanka. Thousands of people were mercilessly killed. The world needs to know such stories,” he said.
The film also stars Anisha Ambrose.