Actor Nandamuri Balakrishna's 100th film, the Telugu historic drama "Gauthamiputra Satakarni", is slated for release on Thursday worldwide. He says he is confident about the project because his fans have always supported his desire to experiment.
"I derive my strength to experiment from the support I get from my fans. They push me to do something new every now and then," Balakrishna told.
Talking about the film, which revolves around the unsung ruler of Satavahana dynasty, he said: "I consider myself extremely lucky to have been part of this story. I think it was my dad's (yesteryear actor NT Rama Rao) wish that I play Satakarni, a role which he couldn't take up due to various reasons."
Balakrishna is all praise for his director Krish, who gathered information from anywhere he could to make the film.
"We had very little information on hand to make the film. Krish's research came in very handy and in the process, he met a lot of people which included professors of archaeology department and eminent historians among others," he said.
Balakrishna is in awe of Krish who, according to him, strives to make such different films.
"It's just his sixth film and you find each one is so different. A lot of people, including popular directors, give in to peer pressure and get easily stereotyped in the industry. Krish, on the other hand, keeps hopping genres and he's like Steven Spielberg of Telugu cinema," he said.
Excited to have shared screen space with yesteryear Dream Girl Hema Malini, who plays his mother in the film, Balakrishna said she was supposed to work with his father.
"My father was very keen to rope her in for his film 'Sri Krishna Pandaveeyam', and had even sent my uncle to Mumbai to approach her. Unfortunately, she had signed a five-film deal with some production house, and hence, couldn't accept the offer," he recalled.
"Gauthamiputra Satakarni" will compete with Chiranjeevi's comeback film "Khaidi No 150" at the ticket windows, and Balakrishna says there's no thrill without competition.
"What's the thrill in life without competition? At the same time, I wish other films also do well as their success will in turn benefit the industry," said Balakrishna, who is confident of his latest outing outperforming his previous films at the box office.
Asked about his future projects, including Krishna Vamsi's "Rythu", which might feature megastar Amitabh Bachchan in a crucial role, he said: "We have approached Amitji for an important role in the film. We are yet to hear from him. If he doesn't say yes, we might drop the project."