Mahesh Babu talks for Heal-a-Child

Mahesh Babu, the Goodwill Ambassador of Heal-a-Child (HAC), is seen taking questions from the audience at the Annual Christmas Fundraiser Ball.
(1:51 to 2:56)
Host: We are gathered here for the Annual Christmas Fund Raiser Ball, trying to raise funds for this wonderful initiative. In this long and wonderful journey of yours, you have had a lot of opportunities to join or show acts of support to various other organizations. With all due respect to the work they are doing, why Heal-a-Child?
Mahesh: I think it happened because of my son Gautam. He was a preterm baby. He was in Rainbow for 10-12 days and the doctors took care of him. He was very tiny and when we got him home, it was an emotional experience for us because he was the first baby. If you look at my son now, he is the tallest in his class.
The thought that went into my head was, we had the money and we could do it and what would have happened if we didn’t have the money? And that’s why I like organizations like Heal-a-Child. They are amazing. If they can help children, nothing like it, because I think children are beautiful.
(2.57 to 3:01)
Host:  How many years ago was that?
Mahesh: Gautam is 8 now.
(3:01 to 3:52)
Host: As you see children again with the Heal-a-Child Foundation supporting them so much, you have touched their lives in a lot of ways, do you think it comes back manifold? How do you feel that love?
Mahesh:  It was this incident couple of months ago from a foundation Make-a-Wish and I met this 10 year-old boy who was not feeling very well and he wanted to meet me on my sets. So he came to my shoot and I was doing my shot and I went and I was looking at this kid and he was very sad looking down. And I walked up to him and he had a big smile on his face.
If I could do that to that boy, I mean, I am blessed!
(3:53 to 5:18)
Guest: Because of your spotless reputation, Mahesh, I am going to ask you a very simple question, I have loved all your movies and have watched them many times over. So that Macho Masala Hero role that you play, is it someway a part of you or is that all just an act?
Mahesh: Thank you so much. I wish I had more fans like you J
Thank God! It’s not a part of me. (Smiles). See I do Telugu films, they are a little over the top and you know what I mean by that. So, no I am not like that, it is just really good acting I do.
(5:28 to 6:05)
Guest : Good evening, did you ever have a temper tantrum on sets, did you storm off that you had enough?
Mahesh: Did you see any of my films before?
Guest: One, but I did not understand anything (laughs)
Mahesh: And what was that film called?
Guest: Well, I can’t remember that.
Mahesh: I am going to have one right now (smiles) No actually, I have never ever had a temper tantrum, I can proudly say that.
I am very very professional.
(6:10 to 7: 10)
Host: Mahesh, now, we been discussing, the quintessential South Indian Cinema hero, I mean, with everything going over the top generally speaking, you have established a wonderful identity of yourself as very restrained, and the anger comes out of is also very very restrained, acting wise of course, but what is an angry Mahesh Babu like?
Mahesh : I get angry at home sometimes. I show my anger when I am in my house.
Host: So would you like to share with us what ticks you off
Mahesh: If I get angry on the sets, I don’t show it. And then I will go home and…. (smiles)
(7:13 to 7:49)
Guest: Good evening Mahesh! Everybody down here things you have tons of money, anyway, what is your personal take on money? What values do you like your children to have about money as they grow up?
Mahesh: Money is very very important but I believe you have to work very hard to earn it. And that’s what I will be telling my children also.
(7:50 to 8:40)
Host: You have been born in a film family, you have grown up watching cinema and knowing fame and fortune. What kind of an affect did it have on you as a child, or at home, knowing that everything  was available?
Mahesh: I was in Chennai. My father was this huge star and we had this very very normal life. In the sense, I would go to school in an Auto Rickshaw, I would not tell my friends that my father was a big movie star because, I don’t know, they would treat you differently and I would feel that it was a little embarrassing. So we all lived a very normal life.
That helps me right now, it makes you grounded in life. I have to give it to my father, he brought us up like that.
(8:42 to 9:30)
Host : Even when as a child, when you did that role in your first film, obviously there must have been stories around your friends? Oh, he is a star now!
Mahesh: I grew up in Chennai, I do Telugu pictures and not too many watch Telugu films except the Telugu people.
But when I did films, I was young, that’s another story… Because, one summer holiday my father decided that, okay come on you do a film now. That film did well. And the next summer holiday, he said we do another film. So every summer holiday of mine, I would do these films and before I realized I was a big child star. My dad said, okay now, you go back and study, after four years come back and do films as a hero. It was as simple as that. I can never deny that Dad is the best, in the sense, he laid it out effortless and smooth.
(9:31 to 10:26)
Host: What about Gautam now? He just launched the audio of your recent film, he also acted in it. So the industry is obviously looking forward to him growing up and then getting up on screen as a hero. I am sure you come across a lot of that, so how do you deal with it at home explain to him at home?
Mahesh: It is a lot of pressure to be honest, but he wants, I mean he is interested, after doing that film. I think in his head, he thinks that by acting he can actually miss school! That’s what I think. (laughs)  But then, I don’t know, let us leave it to him. He is too young to make any decisions.
(10 : 35 to 10:55)
Guest: Out of all the movies you done, all the movies that you have led, which is your most favourite one and why?
Mahesh: It’s called Okkadu. It’s a film which actually gave me stardom. It’s a brilliant film and one of my favourites.
(10:58 to 11:18)
Host: What is the one role you would like to probably do or essay with your knowledge of world cinema and everything that you experienced?
Mahesh: Telugu Cinema to be honest is totally different, so I take it film by film. After I okay the script, it is the Director for me. I do not really plan. I hear the narrative and if it is interesting, I do a film.
(11:19 to 11:39)
Host: What kind of roles do your kids love to see you in?
Mahesh: My son just started watching my films. He doesn’t like action films. He can’t handle the sound. (Smiles). Now he started watching and so we will know.
(11:48 to 12:15)
Guest: Hi Mahesh, you look very relaxed, you are chatting away and you have done this event for the foundation (Heal-a-Child). But you are actually a very quite person. Why are you so reserved?
Mahesh: I am not really reserved. Do I look reserved?
(12:17 to 12:42)
Host: Well, you do have a very reclusive persona, it’s been you all through or looking at the glamour or intrusiveness that the industry has, does that get you even more closed?
Mahesh: I try to stay away from the publicity because I want to keep it simple. I have been like that all my life so all of a sudden, I cannot change and say, “Hey! let me be in this way.”
I would like to be in this way.
(12:42 to 12:58)
Host: What do you do when you are not at work?
Mahesh: Watch lot of films in my house.
Host: Do you travel? I mean personal holidaying with the family? What’s your favourite destination?
Mahesh: Yes.
(13:02 to 13:43)
Guest: This is a slightly imaginary scenario. Imagine it is Saturday night, you are in LA and you can take any actress from the last 30 years along for a dinner. It is a platonic dinner. That’s it. You can have dinner and spend three hours with her. Who would you take out?
Mahesh: (Laughs) What is the fun in it? I’d find it boring to sit for 3 hours.
Anyways, Demi Moore.
(14:09 to 14:55)
Guest: I wanted to ask you, do you have like a close friend or a best friend in the industry? A producer, a director, like your trusted friend? Like a 2 am friend? You are yourself and not a superstar? You can’t name Namrata! (Smiles)
Mahesh:  There are two directors who are very very close – one is Srinu Vaitla and other is Trivikram Srinivas. I worked with them and have done 3 movies with Trivikram and 2 films with Srinu. They are very very close to me.
(14:56 to 15:28)
Host: But is there somebody who is not from the industry is also a close friend?
Mahesh: I know you won’t believe it, but I really don’t have friends. All of them were in Chennai and I moved out and somehow lost touch with them. Now it’s people in Hyderabad – Jayanth is there, Archie is there, Sabina, Xavier, they are all my friends now.
(15:31 to 16:00)
Host: So Mahesh tell me, has there been any moment when you walked up to your friends and go, “I don’t know what I am doing, I don’t want this stardom.” I am sure it’s overwhelming to handle this stardom, the responsibility of the star that you are?
Mahesh: Pressure is there that’s why your house is very important to you. And I have to give it to my wife. She balances all beautifully. She takes the pressure off.
(16:00 to 16:43)
Guest: Hi Mahesh, I am sure you would have been asked this question earlier, lot of actors have joined politics, right, so in case if you have been made an offer in future to join politics, would you?
Mahesh: (Laughs) The country has enough problems.
No I wouldn’t join politics
(16:45 to 17:30)
Guest : Thank you for coming out to support this organization. We have obviously heard a lot about Mahesh at work and the people’s coverage, we have seen him in the cinemas, you have told us that you like to watch movies, but what is that one thing Mahesh likes to do for leisure that we haven’t heard yet?
Mahesh:  I think I have answered the question before. It’s movies again, but yeah whenever we go out for a holiday, it might sound stupid, but food. That’s one thing we would like to indulge in  – food, food, food.. (smiles), because I am always on a diet here, so wherever we go, we eat.
(17:39 to 18:38)
Guest: My question is about your father and son relationship. One superstar to another superstar, how is your relationship with your father, does he involve or influence your career anyway? Can you elaborate?
Mahesh: First of all, he is my inspiration, my Dad. And like I told you the story before, how when I was young he used to make me act in films and that was the biggest gift he could have ever given me. And another thing once I started acting in films, he never advised me what to do, never ever advised me which film to do. He would only say, do it on your own, because even if you make mistakes, you can learn from them. And I think it is the best advice anybody can give because you learn it for yourself and I would be doing exactly that to my son, to do it for yourself.
(18:45 to 19: 22)
Diana Hayden: You know, your father is a superstar and I remember on Sunday we would make sure we were home when his film was on in the evening, I am sure many of you too (gestures to audience).
Your father is a superstar, you got into films, what if your daughter wants to get into films? Would you encourage her down that road?
Mahesh: Yeah, but I think I am going to make her a scientist (laughs). But if she wants to, it is her choice.
(19:23 to 20:25)
KBC with Mahesh Babu
Host: Would you like to phone a wife?  (Jokes)
Mahesh ji, when you wake up in the morning and you look at yourself in the mirror, which out of these options do you see?

  • Actor
  • Father
  • Husband
  • Star

Mahesh: B, Father.
(20:35 to 24:32)
Rapid Fire Round
Host: Are you a morning person or a night person?
Mahesh: Morning
Host: Are you fit by choice or compulsion?
Mahesh: Choice
Host: One lie you have told and gotten away with?
Mahesh: My wife is sitting here dude, why would I tell you that!? (smiles)
Host: How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Mahesh: Not many actually. This (looking at his shoes) and my running shoes.
Host: What is your favourite book?
Mahesh: A new Earth
Host: Top three things you indulge in while travelling?
Mahesh: Food, food, food.
Host: One smell that takes you back to your childhood?
Mahesh: Nice smelling Andhra Chicken Curry
Host: Are you a tech freak?
Mahesh: Yes
Host: Top three gadgets you have indulged?
Mahesh: iPhone, iPad, Desktop
Host: If you could be a sports figure, who would you be and why?
Guest: Don’t know about that but I am a big fan of Sachin Tendulkar
Host: One skill you have always wanted to learn or develop?
Mahesh: Directing films
Host: Three biggest turn-ons?
Mahesh: Pauses. 3? I would say one. Intelligence.
Host: Three biggest turn-offs?
Mahesh:  Body odour. One is enough!
Host: If you could reset life,  what would you want back? Fame or money?
Mahesh: I think it is a process. Life is a process so I don’t want to reset anything. It’s like first you get the fame, then you get the money, so why would you reset then?
Q & A with Namrata Shirodkar & Mahesh Babu
Host: Rate Mahesh on a scale of 1 lowest and 10 highest:
As a actor
Mahesh gives himself  a 6 or a 7, Namrata gives him a 10.
As A Husband
Mahesh gives himself a 6 or 7, Namrata gives him a 10 again.
As a father
Namrata gives Mahesh a 20.
As a friend
20 again from Namrata, but Mahesh gives a 9.
As a human being
100 from Namrata.