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Baahubali 2 special: We knew we were working on something special, says Prabhas

As Baahubali 2 goes on a record-breaking spree across the country, HT chats with the media-shy Prabhas for one of his first interviews since the film’s release.

bollywood Updated: May 21, 2017 18:51 IST
Prashant Singh
Prashant Singh
Hindustan Times
Prabhas,Baahubali,Baahubali 2
Actor Prabhas says he is “still not out of the Baahubali mode.”

Ever since Baahubali 2: The Conclusion hit theatres, actor Prabhas has had the entire nation swooning over his act as the hero, Baahubali. But even as film-maker SS Rajamouli’s epic drama started breaking one box-office record after the other, the actor, instead of basking in the accolades, sneaked out of the country for a “much-needed break”. HT chats with the media-shy Prabhas for one of his first interviews since Baahubali 2 hit theatres last month.

During the film’s promotions, you spoke about wanting a “break at any cost…”

Yes, it’s true (laughs). After I completed the shoot, the first thing that I wanted to do was to go for a vacation. I am happy that I am on a holiday right now.

Director SS Rajamouli and his cast and crew shot the two Baahubali films for four years.

Were you expecting such a great response to the film across the country?

I think we all knew we were working on something special right from the start. But the kind of love and appreciation that the audiences have been bestowing upon us has been totally overwhelming. I have been hearing a few things [that people are saying about the film], which my family and friends have shared with me, and honestly, I can never be grateful enough to the audiences for their kind feedback.

Watch Jiyo Re Baahubali | Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

After such a great response, are you thinking of starring in Baahubali 3 too?

I think the film’s producers would be the right people to answer this question (about the possibility of a third part). As for me, of course, I’d love to live the character of Baahubali time and again. That question shouldn’t even come up (smiles).

You are being called a pan-India film star now. Does that give you a high?

Honestly, I am still not out of Baahubali mode. Once I am done with it, I will let you know more [about what I’m feeling] (smiles).

Prabhas-starrer Baahubali: The Beginning released in 2015.

Ever since you started working on Baahubali, you haven’t done any other film. Do you feel you have missed out on a lot of work due to the film series?

Not at all! I would have given even seven years of my life for a film like this. [Right at the beginning], I realised that this is one film that would require all my dedication and determination. Imagine, only the action portions of the film took 300 days to be filmed. The schedules were extremely tough, as different portions [of the film] needed me to look different. So, if anything, I have gained immensely as an actor from the series.

Watch Baahubali 2 trailer

Rajamouli recently said that since you didn’t sign any other film for four years while both the Baahubali films were being shot, you faced monetary issues. Is that true?

At first, the movie was supposed to be shot over two years (smiles), so yes, circumstances were tough back then. It wasn’t an easy phase. My friends and family suggested me to take up other work, but I had faith in Rajamouli sir. Tough times call for tougher decisions (laughs).

Rana Daggubati plays Bhallal Dev in the Baahubali series.

Did you feel any pressure before the film’s release due to high expectations?

Yes! Just imagine things such as a big budget, a grand release and multilingual versions. How can anyone take it lightly (smiles)? I had never experienced such an emotion before [in my career]. It’s difficult for me to put it down in words. All the movies from my filmography can be on one side and Baahubali can stand solo on the other side. I was actually very tense [during the shoot] and wanted to make sure that everyone is content and satisfied with my work.

What’s the best compliment you have received for the film?

I think the fact that Rajamouli sir wrote the character of Baahubali for me has been the biggest compliment in itself. [Before I started shooting] I would always wonder how I would ever be able to justify a character of such stature.

Anushka Shetty starred alongside Prabhas in both the Baahubali films.

Your next film, Saaho, is also a trilingual project, and its teaser has already generated a lot of curiosity…

Right now, all I can say is that it’s an action-packed love story, but it’s too early to talk about it. I will let you know more details soon (smiles).

You have also become the only south Indian star to get a wax statue at Madame Tussauds (in Bangkok, Thailand). You must be happy about it?

It’s a great feeling. After Baahubali, lots of things have been happening [in my life] and lots of things have changed.

Prabhas will next be seen in a trilingual film, Saaho.

You have a couple of Telugu projects coming up. Are you looking forward to doing a few lighter films now?

You get films like Baahubali once in your life. And Amrendra Bahubali is a character that I can never forget. But now, after four years [of shooting for the film], I would like to do something else.

It’s rumoured that you have received a lot of offers from Hindi film-makers too. Are you keen to enter Bollywood?

Right now, my priority is to spend as much time as I can with my friends and family. After that, I would start preparing for my character in Saaho. Then, we will see what happens (smiles).

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First Published: May 21, 2017 18:49 IST