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Vijay Deverakonda’s breakout film Pelli Choopulu, with director Tharun Bhascker Dhaassyam, received immense acclaim but it took 9 months to raise funds from producers. It’s been three years since and Vijay now has hits like Arjun Reddy, Mahanati and Geetha Govindam behind him. The actor wants to give back to the industry by supporting promising talent through his own production house King of the Hill. Recently, the actor announced the release of his first film Meeku Maathrame Cheptha. Here’s what he told us about how he wants to run his company.

How the idea of the production house came to be

“We boys were finding it really hard to make a film. It took us almost a year to find a producer willing to bet 60 lakhs on our film. This is after I had done Yevade Subramanyam, in which I played a supporting role. It was superbly received. Tharun had done short films which were such huge hits on social media. Every person in the industry would call him to do a film but they would never get made. We had a script that we believed in, we believed in each other, but no one wanted to make a film with us. We decided that the day we make it, we’ll make films with people like us who are as talented as we were then and who are not getting an opportunity…So the thought of setting up a production house came from there. There’s a new boy called Shammeer [Sultan], who read me a script I really liked. I didn’t produce it immediately. I said: I can’t do it but I love the script. Then he did the rounds of producers but it wasn’t getting made. He came to me with a second idea and then I was like ‘Wait, I will make that film’. I wanted to send it to Tharun, my Pelli Choopulu director. Our deal was that I send it to him as a director to guide me, but he’s also acting in it now. So we kept the deal alive.”

Why his production company will be different 

“Every film I make is open house. Everyone is welcome. And you will be selected purely on auditions. My production house is open to actors coming for auditions. I promise you no one will look at you like you’ve come to take a loan. That’s how I was treated, when I went to offices. You’ll be welcomed, you can sit, do your audition. Just don’t harass my ADs and directors if you don’t get the role because they’ll have their own requirements. But everyone is welcome throughout.”

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