I Love My Films But I'm Not Married To Them: Siddhu Jonnalagadda

The DJ Tillu fame actor-writer talks about his organic writing style, the pressures of a sequel and his new film Tillu Square
Siddhu Jonnalagadda on Tillu Square
Siddhu Jonnalagadda on Tillu Square

Siddhu Jonnalagadda's Tillu Square, co-starring Anupama Parameswaran, was recently released with a massive box office opening. The sequel, directed by Mallik Ram, has found love for its unique brand of humour. The actor, who has also co-written the film, recently spoke about the art of attachment and detachment in the industry in an interview with Film Companion.

“I get criticised all the time by my close friends. I might be a big celebrity outside (post DJ Tillu) but they don’t care about all that. The more you lose touch with reality, the more you need people like that around you. It helps me be grounded,” says Siddhu. When talking about retaining objectivity both as an actor and writer for the film he says, "I am very protective about my film but at the same time I am very detached from it. Even in the editing room, I often refer to myself in the third person while judging my performance. I feel blessed to have that sense of detachment. I love my film but I’m not married to it. I have deleted more footage from the film than the actual runtime of the film”.

Siddhu also talks about why he is not active on social media, “I don’t care about being in the public eye all the time. If I go on a vacation I wanna be in that vacation. I don’t want to pull out my phone and say ‘Hey I’m on vacation,’ I am someone who does not want to be on Instagram. It just does not come naturally to me. Biggest of stars did not have social media. I feel it is important not to be seen to the public all the time and only be seen at the right time.”

A still from DJ Tillu
A still from DJ Tillu

He elaborates on his chaotic process of making films, “Sometimes I laugh a lot and get excited about a particular idea. And then the next day I change it all after the work on the initial idea has already begun. We all feel that we are making the film but actually, the film is making itself. You are just there to facilitate it. It is a big mistake to think that your film is totally in your control. You just have to keep supplying the film’s needs like a manager. As long as you can have an honest conversation with your film, you are more likely to make a decent film.” 

Working on a sequel to a succesful film also meant working with better budgets. "We had more budget so we had more indiscipline in terms of the chance to re-shoot scenes. But to compensate for this indiscipline there was at times too much discipline. We shot a lot more and even wrote a lot more around 600-700 pages for this film.”

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