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Interview By: DRISHTI PANDEY

In conversation with the incredibly grounded and humble human – Prabhas aka Baahubali: Who has left no stone unturned with his charismatic performance in the film. Post the phenomenal success of ‘Baahubali’, Prabhas is set to blow our minds with his recent release ‘Saaho’.  Here, he talks about the film, commercial and realistic cinema, him as a person amidst much more…

‘Baahubali’ has left a strong impact for you and even the audience, how difficult does it get to move on? Is it an added pressure because even with ‘Saaho’ people still call you a ‘Baahubali’ actor, ‘Baahubali’ is never going to leave you it seems.

I honestly don’t want ‘Baahubali’ to leave me, because it’s amazing to see people still remember you as ‘Baahubali’ and people are still crazy about it. And, I believe Rajamouli made ‘Baahubali’ so that it stays there forever.  I don’t want people to forget ‘Baahubali’, it’s phenomenon for me, for the team, that’s why we took a screenplay twist. Because how the screenplay, the story is headed we wouldn’t get a bigger script than ‘Baahubali’ and even if we get, it won’t impress the audience as much as ‘Baahubali’ did.

In today’s day and age when realistic cinema is working, how difficult does it get for an actor like you to show the conviction in terms of showing unrealistic things onscreen?

Yes, I know the difference and today audiences are watching realistic films. We have audiences who like watching realistic films like ‘Arjun Reddy’ and others but still people like to watch a film like ‘Avengers’. There are different kinds of films, French films are almost all realistic films, but how many of us watch French films. We want to watch different films so there are different kinds of audiences. In Hollywood, you have commercial films; you have realistic films, scientific films, in the end; it’s about finding entertainment. If we only do realistic films the audiences will get really bored and then they would only want to watch commercial films. So it’s a mix of both.

Was releasing ‘Saaho’ in multilingual languages, a commercial aspect?

It’s because of ‘Baahubali’ and to reach out to the audiences widely.  But, it is very difficult for the technicians and actors to do a film in many languages.  I am not a ten take artist; I give two – three takes and give my best in that capacity.  So, once you finish in one language, you then tend to relax because you have to think about the same shot with different language, it gets tedious for everybody. It isn’t as simple as it looks; every cast and crew is at it, to do its best.

How was it working with Shraddha Kapoor, it seems you both  have action scenes together?

We have seen Shraddha in love stories and she has been beautiful in all. But, in ‘Saaho’, I was super impressed with her, the way she handled the stunts, the body language, and the intensity of action.  The intensity of drama and love stories is completely different, but I think she was superb in action, since we both had action scenes together, I would say – she did a good job!

Have you been approached by Karan Johar to work with him post ‘Baahubali’? 

Karan was a very important person for the whole ‘Baahubali’ team, and because he was there it became ‘The Baahubali’. Karan Johar’s support was great, and the whole ‘Baahubali’ team respects him.  Because that point in time what he did, we cannot forget. He gave the caption – to ‘Baahubali’ as, “India’s biggest film”. He quite very well knows how to take it to the audiences, the support which he gave was unbelievably, and definitely one day we will work together again.

“I honestly don’t want ‘Baahubali’ to leave me, because it’s amazing to see people still remember you as ‘Baahubali”

Do you believe the pressure comes after every success – in terms of after ‘Baahubali’, what is next that you will come up with? Do you sense that pressure?

Yes, with everything there is pressure but presently since we are promoting ‘Saaho’, that’s the only pressure we have (Smiles).  Post ‘Saaho’ we will see what comes up next.

The cast seems quite interesting, how was it working with Neil Nitin Mukesh, Jackie Shroff and others?
Neil was the first person we approached and then we met Jacky sir; it was very sweet of them to come onboard for ‘Saaho’.  The director was 24 years old when he had narrated the story to them, and it was very hard for Sujeeth, because for me after being in the industry for 17 years, was equally difficult to try onto different language, meet people.  And as a lead actor if I wasn’t comfortable, it would make everyone else uncomfortable.  And Sujeeth had just done one film in Telugu and that was with UV production and lucky it is the same with this film too.  He knows me since years and is very comfortable with me, but suddenly going to Bollywood and narrating the story was kind of difficult for him but we always motivated him (Smiles).

Apparently ‘Saaho’s’ music is at a big rage, how do you feel about that?

I guess we should thank T-Series and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy; they gave music to one song and that is really sweet of them despite their busy schedule.  T-series helped a lot to get the beautiful songs and in many ways in terms of finance too. Because to make such a big film, you need support, like the T-Series is presenting in North and I am really Thankful to Bhushan Kumar and the other music directors for doing ‘Saaho’.

How is Prabhas in real life and what is your idea to impress the audience?

I am a shy person in real life, but the whole idea is that I want people to love me, and the main agenda is to impress them through my acting. Because then why would I give 4 years to ‘Baahubali’ and 2 years to ‘Saaho’? On the other hand, the interesting fact is that – I am not a film person, in my family, my mother never wanted me to be in films, but my dad wanted me to do films.  I am more of a family – friends kind of a person. I enjoy my personal style.

Do you think now you can ever play an underdog character on-screen, after playing larger-than-life characters?

Yes, certainly. I want to play a common man and that is really exciting. I had done a film ‘Chatrapathi’ directed by Rajamouli and it was an out an out action film. And, after that, I was bored doing action films and I didn’t hear any action scripts. I waited for one and a half year and did ‘Bujjigadu’, which was an entertainer film.  Then, I did ‘Darling’ which was a romantic family drama but we had to put little action to not confuse the audiences.  He is the Mr perfect, he is an underdog and in the climax he says, ‘Sorry’ and that’s the end of the film, so it wasn’t an action film or a heroic film and then we immediately released the next film – ‘Mr Perfect’.

Now actors are getting conscious on picking up scripts, they are very responsible. ‘Kabir Singh’ worked very well but Shahid Kapoor was accused for picking up such a role. What is your take on it? How responsible an actor should be, and would you consider a role like this?

I think you want a different film, you don’t want a commercial film, you want a realistic film and then you don’t want anything going wrong in the film, but that is not how it works!  In realistic film you won’t get to see super hero, if you want a super hero then do a commercial or a super hero film.  In realistic films, something should be wrong, and that is life. Something should be wrong that is the whole thing of reality.

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