Telugu Megastar Chiranjeevi has called it quits as an actor. The announcement came from the actor-turned-politician on Tuesday at a time when millions of his fans have been awaiting his 150th movie venture, supposed to be produced by his actor-son Ram Charan Tej. “Since I am busy with politics, it would not be appropriate for me to don the grease paint again. My son Charan is there to fill the gap,” Chiranjeevi replied when a spectator wanted to know about the proposed 150th film, at the launch of UTV’s Action Telugu movie channel.
To a query on whether he would don the role of a politician or chief minister in his future film, he claimed that people of Andhra Pradesh were longing to see him as chief minister in real life rather than in reel life. “Why in cinema? People feel I can become the chief minister in real life itself,” he retorted.
Chiranjeevi had announced in December last that he would don the grease paint once again for his 150th film to be produced by his actor-son Ram Charan Tej. But that project did not take off because of political developments in the state as well as his Praja Rajyam Party’s merger move with the Congress. Chiranjeevi’s announcement assumes significance as there are indications that he may be inducted either into the state Cabinet or even the Union Cabinet in the next round of reshuffle.
Chiranjeevi, a self-made star in Telugu cinema, quit films after a 30-year career in August 2008 to float the Praja Rajyam Party. While announcing the launch of his party, he indicated that he would continue to act in films – “my first love” – even after turning a politician but would play only message-oriented roles in tune with his new stature. Chiranjeevi’s party was trounced in the 2009 general elections. With a 17% vote share and 18 MLAs, the PRP, however, became the third largest group in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly. In February this year, Chiranjeevi decided to merge PRP with the ruling Congress and, since then, had been busy completing the formalities.