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'Baahubali' producers made no profit: Prabhas [Interview]
Monday, April 17, 2017 • Telugu Comments

Prabhas is the man of the moment.  In this interview, the top star talks about what makes 'Baahubali-2' more substantial, what director Vinayak wondered about the first part, association with Rajamouli, workouts during the shoot, so on and so forth.

Why is that you, Rajamouli and others associated with the movie are saying that the story's real impact will be felt in the second part?

When Rajamouli told me the line during the shoot of 'Rebel', it had a haunting impact on me for the following few days.  The audience are going to see what it is like in 'Baahubali-2'.

Also, the first part had many unanswered questions.  VV Vinayak once wondered as to how the first part was accepted although it didn't answer at least a ten questions (including Kattappa's backstabbing and Avanthika's background).  The people seems to have liked the treatment, the characterizations, etc.

What went into demarcating the stories that way?  Was it conscious not to reveal the suspense around Baahubali's murder by Kattappa?

Rajamouli cogitated for more than two weeks about what to put in the first half and what not to be put there.  As for Kattappa murdering Baahubali, not many knew that it was that important until the film's release.  The way the suspense unfolds in the second part is not a one-liner.  You will see it happening in as many as 20 scenes.

The question must have been put to you by so many by now.

(Smiles)  Since I don't get along with people that easily, not many have asked me.  At a press meet in Mumbai, when I told them that the answer will be revealed in the third part, the journos were kind of shocked.  They are like audience, not journos when it's 'Baahubali' that they are talking about.

When we entered the hall, the press people stood up.  That was not there before the release of the first part.  'Baahubali' is a great Indian film to them.  Everybody (across India) respect the film for the same reason.

Coming to your two characters, you have said that playing Shivudu was less challenging.  Why so?

Shivudu grows up in forests.  He is casual and does instantly what he wants to.  He follows Avanthika even though he doesn't know her, so on and so forth.  But Amarendra is from a royal family whose upbringing and environment are poles apart.  He is supposed to look more serious.

During the pre-release event, Vijayendra Prasad was talking about Rajamouli asking him to write a story with you in mind.  How did the journey all begin?

Rajamouli discussed a few ideas with me for the years after 'Chatrapathi'.  An idea relating to Krishna Devarayulu was also there.  Doing a period film was the idea.  It was during the making of 'Rebel' that 'Baahubali' was narrated.

The best thing is that I have known him since the days of 'Chatrapathi'.  That helped a lot.  With him, you would n't know how the end product is going to be.  When he visualized waterfalls coming from clouds, it's a wonder at the level of idea itself.  I haven't seen such an element even in any Hollywood movie.  The war sequences may have been there in Hollywood, but this is totally new.

Wasn't it boring to work on the same film for all the years?

The sets itself had everything; they were a world in themselves.  If we wanted a museum, there was one, etc.  I felt a bit emotional on the last day of the shoot of the first part.  What if the film doesn't work haunted me.  Although the second part was planned, the fate of the first part was important in seeing through the second part.

Yes, the producers did risk their all.

The producers would have been finished had the film flopped.  That's why we were all tensed.  The film had to be a blockbuster, nothing less.  Even with all the massive run at theatres, the producers didn't make profits.

It must have been way too taxing, given the grueling schedules.  Tell us about how gaining in weight and shedding it affected you.

It was not easy to do workouts after participating in the shoot for even 24 hours at a stretch (at times).  If a take had to be redone, it would some times cause a delay of 3-4 hours!  There are scenes where the weight difference is up to 8 kgs.  The look doesn't matter, ultimately.

The war sequences were planned to be completed in 80 days, but they took 120 days.  Between the two parts, it took 300 days for the action part alone.

Over the years, how have your friends given you emotional support?

My friends are important to me.  Without them, I might have broken down.  We are a gang of twenty friends.  Some of them are closer.  They would tell me to do more films keeping my financial status in mind.  (Smiles).

How has the journey changed you as a person?  Has it made you more responsible?

I was 17 when I was asked by my elders to stay put in Mogaltoor.  Pedananna (Krishnam Raju) was contesting as MP on BJP ticket.  I was assigned the task of overseeing campaign activities.  Although I knew nothing, they felt that my mere presence will help.  I used to get up early in the morning and wouldn't understand anything about what they talked.  The activists would talk about why the flag of some other party was put up in some centre, etc.

After all that, I told my elders that this is not for me.  But that taught me what taking up responsibility is.

What is Rajamouli up to after 'Baahubali-2'?  Did he discuss the idea of doing a film on the epic Mahabharatha?

I think he is not going to think about movies for at least six months.  If someone very close to him were to ask him this question, he might beat him up.  (Laughs).

Your fans expect you to do two films a year from now.  Are you planning for it?

Doing two films is definitely possible, provided the pre-production is properly planned for six months or so.  With 'Baahubali-2', Rajamouli designed eve