Prabhas, aka the mighty Baahubali, comes across as unassuming (of course, his strong, attractive built is enough to tell you he is a star). But besides his modesty, another striking part about his personality is his honest, straight forward take on things around him. As we interviewed him for Baahubali: The Conclusion (yes, we made him speak more than just in syllables), the Telugu star shared his truthful expectations from the movie, pressure of living up to the curiosity and whether he will make an entry into Bollywood.
Admitting his nervousness is increasing as Baahubali 2 is approaching its release, Prabhas added that he is, however, also very happy that wherever he goes, he finds people are talking about the movie. “(The emotions) are definitely not like Baahubali 1… at that time we didn’t know in which region it will work or not work. We knew nothing (that) how much will it be accepted. Thankfully, people loved it. So, I am nervous right now as well but at the same time very excited. It’s a mixed feeling.”
Owing to exactly this excitement and buzz, it is expected Baahubali 2 will mint loads of money at the box office, much more than the first part, and Prabhas believes if nothing else, the film’s opening will definitely be bigger than the prequel. “We are hoping it to be bigger than the first one. With first part, we knew something big was coming up but it didn’t reach many people. It was only later that it became huge with word of mouth. But with Baahubali 2, people are already excited. They want to know a lot of things so, I am expecting the opening to be very good, better than the first part.
Prabhas is the face of the franchise and from the physical transformation to convincingly playing the double role, the actor has done justice to the lead part. Director SS Rajamouli has gone on record saying that the franchise was possible because of the actor. But even as his turn as Baahubali has drawn him unanimous praise, apparently even from the Game of Thrones makers, he shrugs it off. “I don’t think that has happened,” he says about GoT makers applauding him.
But if not Baahubali, which roles would have Prabhas liked to play in Baahubali franchise? “There were many times I thought I would have liked to play a Kattappa (played by Sathyaraj) or Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan). Of course, I am very happy that I got to play Baahubali, but whenever you see an interesting character like Sivagami, Katappa or Bhallala, you do think, ‘What if I were doing this, how I would have done it. But that’s normal. It happens when you are working on a film. It doesn’t mean that I want to do another character but these thoughts do cross your mind when you see other performances,” he said.
With praise, comes the pressure to do a better role and film than your last one. But the 37-year-old actor is unperturbed as he believes audience is smart enough to not compare his future projects with Baahubali and will judge his work in isolation. “I don’t think Baahubali would be a benchmark in that sense because the whole texture of a film changes with a different story. People will not expect us to be the same, act the same in our future movies as we did in Baahubali.”
On a related note, it was befitting to ask if there’s any truth to the media reports that he is in talks for making his debut in Hindi films. Taking a cue from his own movie, Prabhas preferred to leave us with a cliffhanger, saying “I will let you know very soon.. Next time when we meet.”