Ram Gopal Varma is an interviewer’s delight; he always has been. The first time I ever spoke to him was in 2007 when Darling and Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag were ready to arrive back – to – back. My first question was – ‘Should I address you as RGV or Ram?’. He politely said, ‘Ramu’. That set the tone. From then till now, a decade has gone by and his characteristic sense of humor, deadpan expression and an ability to gauge what an interviewer truly wishes to get out of him (and whether he wishes to respond accordingly or not) stays intact. It hasn’t changed between his last Hindi release Satya 2 (2013) and comeback affair Veerappan (2016) either.

Ram Gopal Varma (Centre) with the team of Veerappan

Ram Gopal Varma (Centre) with the team of Veerappan

How good has this break of three years from Bollywood worked for you?

It’s actually two years and I must say it has been very good because I wanted to take some time away and re-look at myself, the way I have been working. Was I becoming too repetitive, too complacent or too arrogant are some of the questions that I needed to answer for myself and I must say that the break has been very helpful in that regard.

I believe your comeback in Hindi films is being looked at much more positively than ever before by the media, film fraternity as well as audience?

I would have no idea about that and frankly I think no one really has the time or thoughts to spare for what’s happening in anybody else’s life. It will eventually boil down to whether the new product I am coming up with will interest them or not.

I wanted to take some time away and re-look at myself, the way I have been working

Guess it also has to do with the fact that you are not making a horror or a gangster film with Veerappan?

Partly yes, because Veerappan as a subject matter is unique. But that doesn’t mean if I did a gangster or horror (film) it won’t work; it’s a question of how well one does it.

WATCH: VEERAPPAN | FIRST LOOK & MOTION POSTER

Was this decision to remake Veerappan a sudden one after your film Killing Veerappan turned out to be a success down South?

It was at the back of my mind to do it but maybe not at this scale and elaboration.

While in Karnataka, Veerappan as an entity was a direct connection, do you feel you had to work extra hard to make him a known commodity for a pan-India audience too?

Not really, but I had to be conscious about catering to an audience who probably might not know so much about him.

READ: UNIQUE PROMOTION STRATEGY FOR RGV’S VEERAPPAN

Still from Veerappan

Still from Veerappan

You had touched upon the subject of Veerappan in Jungle though, with Sushant Singh in there. This time around, things have turned more brutal than ever before, isn’t it?

Except for the fact that he operated from within the jungle, there’s absolutely no connection to Veerappan’s character with Sushant.

I had to be conscious about catering to an audience who probably might not know so much about him

While the film has a dark theme to it, is it the twists and turns and the thrills that make it an out – and – out commercial entertainer?

Veerappan’s story is more from the police’s point of view, in the sense that you will get to know as much as the police needed to know to capture him. In that process it deals with a lot of unknown elements which are not there in the public domain.

READ: I WAS TOLD THAT I LOOK MORE REAL THAN THE REAL VEERAPPAN – SANDEEP BHARADWAL

How much of the Kannada Veerappan have you reused in the film though? For example, are the scenes without dialogues incorporated as-is in the Hindi version?

The Hindi version has been completely re-shot.

Many films are in the pipeline and I am here till I die!

Now the next big one in the offering is Sarkaar 3. What’s happening on that?

It will start in September.

So is Bollywood back for the keeps for you? Is there something else that is already being put together, other than Sarkaar 3?

Many films are in the pipeline and I am here till I die!

Summary
Photo ofRam Gopal Varma
Name
Ram Gopal Varma
Job Title
Director