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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Baahubali : I will be ranked among greatest villains in Indian film history: Rana Daggubati

When he made his debut as an idealistic politician in Sekhar Kammula's Leader, Rana Daggubati quickly earned the reputation of being this lanky, young, new-age actor who wears a "wooden expression" and has a penchant for picking "hatke" roles. Today, just five years later, Rana seems to have metamorphosed himself into the quintessential action hero, of epic proportions — pun intended! 

With his upcoming films —Baahubali and Rudhramadevi, Rana is clearly moving into a zone where his daunting, almost Hulk-esque personality becomes a key element in the kind of roles he is offered. Quite an evolution. Tell him that, and Rana laughs it all off as happenstance! 

"It's the story that finds the actor, not the other way round..." he says, philosophically. "When I started my career, I wanted to do interesting stuff and so people approached me with unconventional roles, like the ones in Leader or Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum, or even Nenu Naa Rakshasi. There was no reference to these characters; as an actor, that was completely new for me. Of late though, I have been seen in a lot of action films — so, now people think I'm more comfortable doing only action roles; that I have fashioned myself into some action hero. The truth is that I haven't really done romantic entertainers so far... May be once I do, people's perception of me will change. yet again," he says, laughing. 

Whatever may be the reason for his two back-to-back epic films, fact remains that this new 'epic hero avatar', with bulging muscles and period costumes, quite becomes the strapping actor. "Let me be clear about this one — there is nothing heroic about my role in Rudhramadevi. It's an out-and-out Anushka's film; I'm just a supporting character in the story," Rana is quick to point out. "it's the story of the queen Rudhramadevi; I play a Chalukyan prince Veerabhadrudu. He is someone who believes in women power and is more than happy to stand beside the queen and support all her endeavours. I'm happy that a film like this is being made in Telugu. We have a chance to portray our own history on the big screen, a feat which has become rare in Telugu cinema," he adds. 

Baahubali on the other hand is in "a different zone altogether," says Rana. "Here, I am an epic villain; not a epic hero! It's a fictional tale about warriors, kingdoms and struggle for power. And I play a mean, bad ass character Bhallaladeva. In fact, I would put him in the league of Duryodhana from Mahabharata or Ravana from Ramayana, in terms of how the character has been dealt with. And I'm confident that Bhallaladeva would be rated among the greatest villains of all time in Indian film history." 

Admittedly, the actor has a penchant for history and larger-than-life characters on screen. "I grew up watching films of NTR, Krishna, ANR, Sivaji Ganeshan among many others. I learnt a lot about history and mythology through films. So, if someone asks me what Lord Krishna looks like, I would show him NTR in Krishna's avatar; or for that matter Alluri Sitaramaraju is also Krishna for me. It's amazing how much films can teach you about life in general. Since I grew up in a filmi family, the impact of such epics and mythological films is even more on me at a subconscious level," Rana says, matter-of-factly. 

While the sequel to Baahubali is in the pipeline later this year, for now, Rana is pretty excited about his ongoing Tamil film, a remake of Bangalore Days. "it's such a relief to wear normal clothes instead of an armour when I go to a film set," he quips. "For the first time in my career, I'm playing a role where I am soft-hearted. I fell in love with Fahadh's role when I saw the original version in Malayalam and I badly wanted to do it. Ironically, I'm not part of the Telugu version of Bangalore Days. See, that's what I mean when I say the story finds you... I'm happy that I'm part of this story; never mind the language."

Source : TimesofIndia


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