Nandamuri Balakrishna and Vidya Balan, the lead pair of NTR biopic NTR Kathanayakudu, attended a press meet in Bengaluru on Monday. Puneeth Rajkumar was one of the chief guests at the event. The actor shared his fond memories of NT Rama Rao, who was a close friend of his late father Dr.Rajkumar.
“Because of my father, I had the fortune of meeting great people when I was young. NTR sir used to call my father Thammudu (brother),” he noted.
“In the early 1980s, NTR sir was playing a race driver in a movie and the shooting was happening at AVM Studios. Even my father was shooting there. He took me to the sets where NTR sir was shooting. I saw a car and asked my father to get me that. Knowing this, NTR sir had sent that car to our house. But we sent it back,” recalled Puneeth, giving a glimpse into how he was pampered as a kid.
“In 1986, there was an international film festival in Hyderabad. He was wearing an orange dress like the one we saw in the trailer. All big actors from across the country arrived in Hyderabad for the event. And NTR sir was standing near the flight to welcome everyone. At the time, he presented us a big picture of Lord Venkateshwara, which we still have at our house,” he added. “I was blessed to have the fortune to sit on his (NTR) lap. And I will cherish these moments forever.”
He also said that the friendship between NTR and Rajkumar have been passed down to their children. “Ballaya (Nandamuri Balakrishna) is like my big brother. He visits us whenever he is in Bengaluru. And he treats us with so much love when we go to his place. He is very close to Shivanna (Shivarajkumar),” he added.
Along with Puneeth Rajkumar, Yash and KGF producer Vijay Kirgandur attended the event to support the upcoming biopic, which will release on a large number of screens in Karnataka on Wednesday. The biopic has been split into two parts. The second part titled N.T.R: Mahanayakudu is currently in post-production phase and will release on February 7.