In his 9-year-old film career, Vijay Deverakonda has become one of the most bankable stars down south. At just 31, he has a number of blockbusters and super hits under his belt. His upcoming project Liger, which marks his pan-India debut, only points toward his growing stardom.
Liger, to be co-produced by Karan Johar, will see Vijay in the role of a mixed martial artist. The actor, who hails from Hyderabad, has been shuffling between Mumbai and the city of pearls to finish the shoot of the Puri Jagannadh directorial, which is being simultaneously filmed in Telugu and Hindi. This is the first time when Vijay has stayed in Mumbai for so long and the actor said that working in Mumbai was calmer and smoother than in Hyderabad, where he is constantly subjected to a lot of attention.
"I have no intention of letting anything change my laid-back lifestyle but I really enjoyed working in Mumbai. Everything was super smooth. The crew was very efficient. And, in some way, you were away from a lot of noise as well. Because in Hyderabad, there's so much adulation and attention that it's kind of distracting. Whereas, Mumbai was a cocoon. I was just working and heading back to the hotel. There were no obligations or people coming in to meet me at the hotel or office. I think I'm going to use Mumbai to work and then run back to Hyderabad whenever I'm done to stay home," Vijay told us.
When asked if there's any specific strategy that he's planning to tap into the Hindi film space, Vijay said, "The only strategy is to tell them good stories."
Vijay, who made a name for himself in the film industry without any god father, might have had to struggle a lot to reach where he is today but the actor said he doesn't consciously make an effort to analyse or look back on his journey.
"For me, it's always about what is the next big thing you can do or the exciting stuff you can do. I genuinely feel that we just have one life, so why don't we do some epic sh**? Push beyond your limits; make memories; do something fun. I don't think about what I have already done. It's about the next. I don't even like the conversations around Arjun Reddy or Geetha Govindam. That's in the past. Now, I want to give you something else to talk about. I don't like to sit in the past."
Vijay, known for not mincing his words, further said that he doesn't like to be told what kind of projects he should do.
"I feel a certain responsibility towards the people who follow me and go to the theatres to watch my films on the first day. They are paying their hard-earned money and travelling from, god knows, where to watch the first-day first show. I know how I used to fight for tickets and struggle and wait in the queues for hours. I feel the responsibility to give them their money's worth and the value for their love and time for me. Other than that, I feel nothing else. I don't believe anybody can tell me what kind of film they want to see me in or to do. I think that it works the other way round for me--I pick stuff and I will ensure that my fans enjoy it. They just need to believe in me and I will keep them entertained. But don't tell me what to do."