Rana Daggubati has devoted three years of his life to “Bahubali”, which came to him at a time when his career had hit a low with the debacle of his second Bollywood movie “Department”.
After making his Hindi film debut with “Dum Maaro Dum”, Daggubati did not sign any Telugu project and the failure of “Department” left him without a movie.
“I made a decent debut in Bollywood. While I was working in Bollywood, I did not sign any Telugu movie. For two years, I was without a movie down South and “Department” met with a disaster. People don’t even remember the film. This was the time when “Bahubali” happened,” Daggubati told PTI in an interview.
His last Bollywood outing was Neeraj Pandey’s action thriller “Baby” where he did a small but notable role. The actor says his focus is now on doing good projects rather than establishing himself in Bollywood.
“I am not trying hard to make it big in Bollywood and will take whatever good comes my way. Neeraj spoke to me about a role in ‘Baby’ when he started the film. At that time I was busy with ‘Bahubali’ but Prabhas injured his shoulder while training for his role and I had three months time,” he said
In S S Rajamouli’s “Bahubali”, the actor is essaying the role of antagonist Bhallala Deva. Given the huge canvas of the movie, the actor feels it has a story that can connect with pan-Indian audience.
Karan Johar has come onboard to release the Hindi version of the movie and Daggubati said he was the one who first approached Johar for the collaboration.
“I was the one who called Karan Johar to collaborate for the Bollywood release of ‘Bahubali’. We met thrice and then he decided to be a part of this magnum opus. It is his love for cinema that brought him onboard with us,” he said.
Daggubati said he was not sure about giving three years to a movie but he is happy with the way his role has shaped in the film.
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“When Rajamouli narrated me my part I was sure I wanted to do this film. It was larger-than-life. He told me that he wants me in the role of the main villain. My character ages in the movie and hence I had to work a lot on my looks. A movie like “Bahubali” happens once in lifetime.
The actor, who himself has been a visual effects coordinator says “Bahubali” may not bring Indian film industry at par with Hollywood in terms of VFX but will definitely give a boost to the national film industry.
“It is the best war movie made in Indian cinema. This is done on an epic scale. The characters are interesting and a lot of detailing has gone into their making. The armour me and Prabhas wear are symbolic to our characters. My armour has intricate detailing of lion and Prabhas’ has that of horse.”