Baahubali 2: How Rana Daggubati was inspired by Daniel Day-Lewis to play Bhallaladeva

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It’s been seven years since Rana Daggubati turned actor and starting from Sekhar Kammula’s Leader (2010) to his recent war drama The Ghazi Attack, the actor has made it quite evident that he’s willing to take the road less traveled.
Not surprisingly, when, five years ago, SS Rajamouli approached him to play Bhallaladeva, the tyrant king, in Baahubali, the actor didn’t have to think a lot before saying a ‘yes’ to him. It was indeed a leap of faith, but the gamble has paid off quite well.
The sight of Rana charging towards his opponent, with a broken mace in hand, was one of the defining moments of Baahubali: The Conclusion’s trailer. If his physicality makes you sit upright and take notice of him, his voice too is another asset. No wonder, when he speaks, his bass voice will make you forget everything else.At a recent awards ceremony in Hyderabad, NTR Jr confessed that he never thought you could put your voice to such great effect while acting, especially in a film like Baahubali. I can’t help but ask what your thoughts are about what he said. Do you agree with him?
Well, not a lot of people know this, but I did a lot of voice overs for TV commercials back in the day, before I made my acting debut. I didn’t want to pay the dubbing artistes (laughs) and since I was good at both Telugu and English, I did voice overs for plenty of brands including those selling mutual funds. So, I got trained like that. Many people liked my voice in my debut film Leader and then in Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum.In a regular film, you don’t really have the scope to talk with a big bass in your voice, but in Baahubali we could push ourselves to the extreme.
Since I’m playing a character which unfolds in two different time frames, for the older Bhallaladeva’s character, my voice is going to crack up a bit and you’ll hear a larger bass in it.
It’s not just his physical appearance that changes, but also mentally he goes through a dramatic change. The brief that Rajamouli gave me for the younger avatar of Bhallaladeva is that he has a lot going on in his mind, but you don’t know what he’s thinking.
So, every time I say a dialogue, there’s a thought running in the back of mind. And then he becomes the king.

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