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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Prabhas Interview to

Prabhas Interview to Bollywoodlife. Interview by Subramanian Harikumar.

Want to know what the towering young hero of Baahubali had to say about the film? Read on to know the little anecdotes which Prabhas has shared about the film exclusively to Bollywoodlife.

Being the hero of India’s biggest motion picture, one might think the actor to have a lot of attitude. But I was completely bowled over by his humble nature, as he shared his experience of shooting for SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus for over 300 days. Recently, I had this golden opportunity to catch up with Prabhas, who is the leading man of Baahubali: The Beginning, which is releasing on 10th July. And we spoke to great lengths about the film, the director and ofcourse Karan Johar. 

Few years back you did a film with Rajamouli called Chatrapathi. Now again you got the opportunity to work with him in Baahubali. How different are the two films? 

Chatrapathi was a small film with medium budget. We shot just for 80-90 days for it. Compared to Chatrapathi, Baahubali is 10000 times bigger, made at a very large scale. The entire film of Chatrapathi is equivalent to one scene of Baahubali. Also, you can see how much Rajamouli has evolved as a director from Chatrapathi to Baahubali. 

In an audio launch function, Rajamouli praised you and said that the film couldn’t have been made without you and your support. Your views on that…. 

I take it as a compliment. Yes, I am very important for the film since I am playing the lead character. While shooting on and on for nearly 300 days, both me and Rajamouli didn’t show a hint of frustration as it would have demoralised the entire team. And I am really happy that we managed to endure those tough times and have come up with a good film. 

Did it ever scare you to give two years of your dates just for one film? 

No, it didn’t. I knew from the beginning that it was gonna take time. After finishing the first schedule, I told my friends it would be wrapped in another 6 months. But with completion of the schedule, the number of months of work left only increased. They had planned to shoot the war sequence in 70 days, but it took around 120 days. I am playing two characters in the film – one has to look 95 kgs and the other had to weigh around 80-85 kg. So, I had to look like either of the two characters throughput the shoot, which means I can’t take up any other film. I knew all that. Plus, Baahubali is not a film where you give 20 days of your dates in a month and then work on an another project and then comeback to shoot this film again. It required great level of commitment. Plus, it was my duty to make the producer and director feel comfortable by showing my support, since it is not a normal film. It is a once in a lifetime film. 

You have tried your hands on rock climbing with this film. How was the experience? 

For first two days I was little tensed as it was completely new for me. Later on it became highly enjoyable. It is a very interesting sport. In fact, WWE stars were the ones who trained me in rock climbing. You just have to use your two fingers to climb up a steep mountain. It was a great experience. Later, after the shoot I used to go rock climbing on my own since there are lots of hills around Hyderabad. 

What kind of rapport do you share with Rana? 

Before the shoot, I have met Rana two or three times. But it was during the first schedule of the film that we got close. Later. in the second and third schedule of the shoot, we became best friends. Me and Rana used to be a source of entertainment for everyone in the sets. Sometimes Raja used to come and shout at us, and then we would realise that it is not that kind of a film where you an go on having fun, there is a certain amount of dedication required. Whenever Rana was not in the shoot, I used to feel like how am I going to have fun without him around. We shot together for nearly 150 to 200 days. Baahbubali is almost like a two hero subject. If we two didn’t get along well, then it would have been bad for the film. But luckily everything turned out well and we became close friends. 

How important do you think was the success of the trailer? 

It was very very important. How many people know me in North? in fact how many people know Rajamouli? So being India’s biggest production, made at a such a grand scale, it was important for the trailer to get noticed by the people. According to me, trailer of Baahubali is most important part of the film as it created a buzz around the movie. 

How important was Karan Johar’s role? 

Rajamouli is a big name in Telugu and Tamil cinema. But in Bollywood, you can’t sell the film just on his name. So when Karan Johar came onboard, we were all so excited. It is a great honour for Baahubali team that Karan Johar is presenting our film. When Rana narrated him the film for the first time, he said,” Wow! It looks like avatar. The women characters are so strong in the movie. It is probably India’s biggest motion picture.” On hearing those words coming from Karan, who is a big name in the entire country, it was very pleasing for us. His support for Baahubali is very crucial for the film’s success. 

Now with the film releasing in Hindi, Baahubali has a pan India appeal.People from various parts of the country are going to watch it. Does it add to the pressure on you or the film? 

Earlier, when I used to do films, it was only in Telugu. So I used to be nervous thinking how the film is going to fare in different parts of Andhra and Telangana. But now I don’t from where to start as the film will be watched by people from all over the country. So, I am trying not to think about it. What will happen will happen. I might just go away from somewhere or do meditation on the first three days after the film’s release. 

This will be your first introduction to Hindi cinema. Would you want to do more work in Bollywood? 

Definitely. If I get a chance why not? 

With which filmmaker you would want to work? 

First of all, getting a chance itself is difficult. How can I choose a director? But my favourite filmmaker is Raju Hirani. I have loved all his films. I can watch Munna Bhai MBBS 100 times, I can watch Lage Raho…100 times, I can watch 3 Idiots 100 times. I even loved PK. But these three are my favourite. 

Any memorable moment from Baahubali? 

The entire film is memorable. I am a very emotional person. I know Rajamouli for over 10 years. There is an emotional connect between us. Plus, the film was so big. No one has ever attempted something like this in Indian cinema. For example, we had to assemble a statue which weighed over 8 tons. So we got two industrial cranes to do the job. We thought it would be enough. But it took more than 4 cranes and four days to put the statue together. Something like this would have been done in four hours in Hollywood. But since we were new to all this, it took us a lot of time. Rajamouli and all his technicians have done a fabulous job over the span of three years. 

Prabhas, a lot of films in Telugu have postponed their release in anticipation of Baahubali. Your thoughts on that… 

It shows the kind of respect the film has in the industry. The fans have been waiting for it for over two years. It is a big unique film, not a regular commercial flick. So when a film like Baahubali is releasing, it is very nice of other filmmakers to kind of hold back their films and give Baahubali a good run at box office. 

With which heroine do you share best onscreen and offscreen chemistry with? 

Anushka Shetty is very close to me. we have done films together. I even know her family well. I am very good friends with both Anushka and Tamannaah. 

Did you have to turn down any interesting film offers while shooting for Baahubali for nearly three years? 

Yeah there were few offers. But I never used to hear the script, as I had given all my dates ot Baahubali. Who can give me a better film than Baahubali anyways? So I used to refuse before even hearing the narration. 

Were you ever afraid that people might forget you as you were away from big screen for nearly three years? 

I never felt like that. I knew when the trailer will release, it would have a great impact. And also the audience knew something big was happening. There was so much buzz around the film during the shoot. People where eagerly waiting to hear anything about Baahubali. So I never had the problem of being ‘ out of sight, out of mind’. 

Will the audience response on first part of Baahubali affect the second part? 

We are starting shooting for part 2 in August. And yes, there will be some effect of the first part’s box office performance. I hope it has a positive effect on the second part. 

You did a blink and a miss cameo in Action Jackson. Tell us how that happened ?

Prabhu Dheva sir is a close of friend of mine. So one day, he called me and asked me to come to his house. I was on a break from Baahubali shooting after surgery that time. So when I went there, Prabhu sir asked me to do a dance bit for his film. And I was bit apprehensive about it. He had choreographed a difficult step for me, which was later done by Shahid I think. I said I can’t dance like this, I just want to come there and stand. Finally, he gave in to my request and that is how that song happened.


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