The actor, who got a new identity by playing the negative role of Ballaladev in Bahubali, talks to Sangeeta Yadav about what to watch out for in Bahubali: The Conclusion
- What do we get to see in Bahubali: The Conclusion?
The crux of the story lies in this sequel. In the first part, the characters were introduced but the real drama between these characters will unfold in the second part. The big question — Why did Katappa kill Bahubali will get answered. There is not one but two wars in part 2. There are far bigger and detailed action sequences and emotional scenes. There will be some new characters too.
- Which one was easier to do?
Part 2 was comparatively easier because we knew the story and that helped us figure out how to take Part 2 forward. When we were making Part 1, none of us knew what was going on and we were all experimenting on things to check what will work and what will not. All this required a larger understanding.
- Did playing such an intensely negative character impact your real life?
Of course. When we do a film and play a character like Bhallaladeva for so long, it leaves an impact on real life. I’ll not call it a difficult film but yes it was taxing and challenging. To build an athletic body for stunts, Kunal Gir, my trainer and nutritionist, has worked on me for seven years. He designed my routine looking at what the film required me to look like. I blindly followed him and everybody in this project. What I really like about him is that he understands movies, knows what works on my body and how I can have a transformation.
- Rajamouli tweeted about the speech that you gave on the last day of the shoot. What was that about?
I wrote letter to everybody in the unit. This movie has been emotional for all of us. It was a very long journey. We all dared to do things which many people don’t do in the movie business. Director SS Rajamouli had a vision pinned on him for seven years and everybody remained committed to it and worked towards making it a masterpiece. He has been a great inspiration to me and now I look at cinema differently. What really helped us perform our best was the understanding between Rajamouli and the writer KV Vijayendra Prasad who briefed us so well and moulded us as per their vision.
- What did you say in the letter!
I just expressed my gratitude to everyone, especially to producers Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devineni for believing in us and treating Bahubali as an international product. They didn’t mind investing so much money in this project without knowing what the result would be. From the cinematographer KK Senthil Kumar to the art director Sabu Cyril and the entire starcast — Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah Bhatia, Ramya Krishnan, Sathyaraj and Nassar, everybody not only added tremendous value to this movie through hard work but also helped each other give their best.
- After Ghazi… and Bahubali, you seem to have become an integral part of Dharma Productions and Karan Johar…
I don’t live in Mumbai. I make the movies in Hyderabad and wherever the shooting takes place. Finally when it comes to their release, we need the right creative partner. For a regional film like Bahubali which made it big as a multi-lingual film, the most difficult thing was to tap the entire market of cinema and reach out to the masses. But nobody could have done justice to it other than Karan Johar who is a great filmmaker and understands cinema so well.
(The article aalso got published in Pioneer Newspaper- http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/bahubali-was-taxing-and-challenging.html).