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Nagarjuna hints at spin-off of his Brahmastra character Anish: ‘We talked about it’

Nagarjuna said that he and director Ayan Mukerji are in talks about what’s next for his character Anish in the Brahmastra franchise.

Nagarjuna- Brahmastra first lookNagarjuna Akkineni plays Anish in Brahmastra. (Photo: Nagarjuna Akkineni/Twitter)

The audience has welcomed Nagarjuna Akkineni’s Anish in Brahmastra with cheers and whistles. However, this kind of audience response is not a new phenomenon for the Telugu actor. He is used to viewers showering love on him and his films for almost four decades now.

In this interview with indianexpress.com, Nagarjuna talks about Brahmastra Part One: Shiva’s success, a possible spin-off his character Anish, pan-India films and his fan following in north India.

Talking about the response to Brahmastra, the 63-year-old star said, “I think it is just not me. I think they gave that kind of response to everybody. They responded that way to the film itself. The content is such that it makes you whistle and hoot and it feels good. Lots of people have sent me videos back home. My fans here have shared how there is a lot of uproar and people are having fun while watching the film. It felt good because we see that in the south all the time. I am glad this happened to Brahmastra. We really worked hard for it,”

Nagarjuna strikes a pose with Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Ayan Mukerji. (Photo: Nagarjuna Akkineni/Twitter)

Fans have been complaining about the limited screen time of Nagarjuna’s Anish. But, Nagarjuna says this is what he signed up for and shot for that much only.

“I haven’t shot much. I shot in 2018, the first time I met Ayan (Mukerji) and then Covid happened in between and then the rest happened. I shot for maybe fifteen days at most for the whole thing. What you see of me in the film is exactly what Ayan told me. It is exactly that, nothing less or more,” Nagarjuna shared.

Nagarjuna’s Anish possesses Nandi Astra in Brahmastra Part One: Shiva. (Photo: Nagarjuna Akkineni/Twitter)

About several fan theories and possible spin-off opportunities, Nagarjuna said that he and director Ayan Mukerji are in talks about what’s next for his character in the Brahmastra franchise.

He shared, “We are paying attention to all the fan theories. We are enjoying it. It is such a powerful character. I love Nandi Astra. We had to show when the Nandi Astra takes over, he shifts from the calm and composed man to someone completely different. So yes, we talked about it because it has such beautiful shades to it. Let’s see. I told Ayan, ‘Make one huge success and we’ll talk about these things.”

The actor also shared how he did Brahmastra because the concept excited him and he wanted to do a Hindi film for his fans. He said, “The fans I have here are because of my films there (Telugu films). They watch many movies on OTT and satellite. Especially during Covid time, everybody watched everything on OTT. I know I have a huge fan following in the north because I see notifications on my social media, and many of them ask me when I’ll do a Hindi film again. So, Brahmastra is for my fans asking me to do a Hindi film.”

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Brahmastra has also become a pan-India film with audience in north and south India loving it equally. Does this mean the future of cinema is pan-India films? Nagarjuna doesn’t quite agree. In fact, he says, “All pan-India films won’t work.”

The actor added, “Pan-India films will have to have a certain quality and temperament. You can’t just make any film and call it pan-India. It’s not going to work. A pan-India film needs that kind of standard and scale. I think today directors who dream big and who can dream of that (making pan-India films) have that opportunity because Brahmastra is doing extremely well in the south also. It opened very well in the Telugu states, and in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Brahmastra has opened up that gate. People are getting used to the idea of pan-India films that we can watch anywhere and Covid has done that to them as they started watching all kind of films. I mean if they can watch Doctor Strange dubbed in Hindi and Telugu then why not our own films. They’re watching Tom Cruise speaking Telugu (chuckles).”


What keeps Nagarjuna so motivated to experiment at 63? He shared, “My motivation to do films before was to succeed. The motivation now is to be inspired and a project has to be satisfying. It has become an all-round holistic experience. It’s been 38 years since I got into movies, so the motivation can’t be the same. I feel it’s a beautiful and great time for filmmaking. There has been some kind of disruption which has made this a fantastic time to make movies. You have multiple mediums, theatres, the little box at home and OTT, and then you have social media to influence. So many mediums. You just have to put your mind to it and get around it. It is wonderful.”

Towards the end of the interview, Nagarjuna mentioned how he wished he shared screen space with Amitabh Bachchan after Khuda Gawah (1992).

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“I keep meeting him all the time. We talk a lot. I wish we had shared screen space, but it didn’t work out. What a job he’s done in this film. He’s so intense in the second half,” the actor concluded.

First published on: 15-09-2022 at 15:26 IST
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