As the release date of Saaho comes closer, actor Prabhas is losing his sleep, he says he is “half dead” because of the pressure, to perform and impress, that he is feeling. In this interview, the Baahubali star talks about him trying to woo the Hindi audience and shares if there will ever be a third installment to the Baahubali film franchise.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
Saaho was shot in Hindi, not dubbed. Was it a conscious decision to do so? Was it difficult for you?
Yes, it was my conscious decision. The dialogues were written in Hindi, so that was good for me. First, they gave it to me in English because they thought that I don’t know how to read Hindi, but I can. So then they gave it to me in Hindi, it is easier that way. I don’t talk much in Hindi as I am from Hyderabad, also the spoken Hindi is different there. I had to practice a lot before the shoot started.
Which is your favourite Hindi film?
My all time favourite is Sholay. I also loved Dangal and Udta Punjab. If we sit to discuss films, I can talk about all of them because I watch all of them.
How was it working with Bollywood actors?
Shradha loves south Indian food, she is a south Indian actress (laughs). But on a serious note, I think senior actors here are way cooler. I used to feel nervous meeting senior actors in south, but Jackie (Shroff) sir is so cool, so were others. They are all so cool, it was like a cultural shock to me. I always wanted to work with Jackie sir, he has a very important character in this film.
We have a lot of Bollywood actors who are venturing into digital space, south actors are not into it so much yet.
I think it is about finding the right scripts and maybe they need to get used to it. It takes time. Bollywood is more forward, experimenting and enterprising. In south, stars are very important. I think it is regional differences, but once it opens up, it will work out well.
Big stars don’t easily play negative characters as that image can stick on to them for longer. But you are playing one in Saaho, did you have any such apprehensions?
Yes, that image can stick to you but you can break it. For that, the script should be very strong. The audience will watch any kind of film but you can’t suddenly take them from sea to sand, you need to take them properly. Like when I started Baahubali, people didn’t know me much, they didn’t even see my face in the beginning, my character grew slowly. People saw the baby in his mother’s hands and that’s how it all started. It is that baby’s story that is then attached to me.
That is how superhero characters are made, so many times you don’t even see their face. It is about how the character is treated. The emotions have to be right, the way you drive the story is very important, it is not always about the face. And actors are faces, they live these lives on screen, so once we get done with a particular character, we should be able to move on. Only if the story is good, the audience will accept us in a different role.
Do you hold a Hollywood dream, since Baahubali did so well even internationally?
I don’t know really. I love Baahubali for that, a lot of places that I couldn’t go to, Baahubali took me there. Baahubali gave me a lot of success, and now I don’t know what is next. The film went to Japan and people were touching Rana (Daggubati) and Rajamouli and crying. Never in my life I thought that would be possible for an Indian film. People recognise me in so many different parts of the country and other countries, it was not expected.
Will there be Baahubali 3?
To make part three, Rajamouli should also be excited. To make Baahubali, I heard seven scripts before finally starting the film. Some of it, he had told me only sixty per cent, and I had liked that also, but he was not happy so he wrote and re-wrote and took five years to build the final script. It will not be easy to make part three now. Till the end of part two, the script was written, now to entertain again like that is not a joke. The expectations are too high after Baahubali 2. So, a proper script will be needed, Rajamouli should get excited, we will have to put in a lot of hard work if it happens.