After watching Ramya Krishnan’s performance in Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali: The Conclusion, it is difficult to imagine any other actor playing the powerful Sivagami. But, she was not the original pick of director SS Rajamouli. Actor Sridevi was apparently the first choice of the filmmaker. However, the Bollywood actor turned down the franchise, which has now turned out to be the biggest hit in the history of Indian cinema.
According to reports, although Sridevi was interested in doing the role of Sivagami, she refused to come on board as the filmmakers were not ready to meet her remuneration demands. The actor had reportedly demanded a whopping Rs 6 crore for the job, paving the way for Ramya.
Sridevi then went on to act in Vijay’s Puli. Her looks and role as an evil queen were ridiculed in the film that came out in 2015, the same year Baahubali 1 was released and took the box office by storm. On the other hand, the Tamil film tanked at the box office.
According to a Times of India report, the makers of the Baahubali franchise paid Rs 2.5 crore to Ramya to play Sivagami, one of the central characters who changed the course of the story. Her performance in Baahubali 1 and Baahubali 2 received a wide appreciation from the audience and the media.
During the audio release function in Chennai last month, Rajamouli regretted not approaching Ramya first for the role. “I don’t know what went into my head when I considered other actresses for Sivagami role. I feel ashamed I did that,” the director had said.
It is not the first time Ramya has excelled in a role that was rejected by other actors. 1999 film Padayappa, is one of the landmarks in her career. She played the main antagonist called Neelambari opposite superstar Rajinikanth and it was one of her finest performances till date. But, the filmmakers initially wanted to cast Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Neelambari in the film.
Baahubali 2 has smashed box office records becoming the biggest Indian blockbuster. It has collected Rs 1000 crore within 10 days of its theatrical release worldwide. “The biggest milestone has been reached by the biggest blockbuster of Indian cinema!!!! #1000croreBaahubali @ssrajamouli,” confirmed Bollywood hit filmmaker Karan Johar, who presented the Hindi version of the film.