Prabhas on Baahubali 2: The films are a result of Rajamouli’s passion for cinema; I trust him blindly

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There’s something about Prabhas that catches you off-guard right from the moment he begins to talk about his upcoming magnum opus Baahubali : The Conclusion, directed by SS Rajamouli. The stardom that has come along with the film’s success hasn’t changed him. At least, not yet. While he’s visibly tired of warding off the question – Why Kattappa killed Baahubali? – which he has faced a million times during the ongoing relentless promotional campaign for the film, the actor brims with joy as he goes down the memory lane to talk about his friendship with filmmaker SS Rajamouli, which sowed the seeds for the two-part epic war drama.
The film has turned him into a big star who’s now a household name across the nation; however, he remains as modest as ever about his contribution to the film. “Baahubali is a result of Rajamouli’s passion for cinema. All I did was trust him blindly and dedicate all my time and energy to make his dream come true,” Prabhas states, as a matter-of-fact. Truth is, in Rajamouli’s own words, the film might not have been possible without Prabhas’ faith in the project. “Show me a star who’s willing to dedicate three-and-a-half years of his life to a project and I’ll think of making another Baahubali,” Rajamouli said during the audio launch ceremony in Chennai a few days ago.In 2005, the two had collaborated, for the first time, for Chatrapathi, an action entertainer which went on to become one of Prabhas’ biggest hits at the box-office. But more than that, the duo became friends for life. Admittedly, the story of Baahubali was one among the six or seven stories that Rajamouli had discussed with Prabhas and it also included a story about the origin and rise of Sri Krishnadevaraya as a King of the Vijayanagara empire. But then, in mid 2012, Rajamouli finally narrated the story of Baahubali. “I couldn’t get the characters out of my mind when he narrated the storyline to me. And the film kept bigger and bigger as he developed the story.
At one point in time, he even cautioned the producers (Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devineni) that the budget would be really high for this film. But both of them were willing to take a risk. In fact, I remember Shobu saying that we have to do this film because no one would have seen anything like this so far,” Prabhas recalls.Nothing about Baahubali : The Beginning was normal to begin with. Right from the film’s mammoth sets to its budget, the entire team knew that they were taking a huge leap of faith. While the risk certainly paid off in the end, Prabhas confesses that everyone was under immense pressure to deliver a blockbuster film.
“We went really numb thinking about whether the film will do well or not. If the first part hadn’t worked, probably Baahubali : The Conclusion wouldn’t have materialised. On the last day of the shoot in 2015, I did wonder whether I would come back to the set if things don’t work out. But, everything changed once the film released. The amount of love and respect that the whole team has earned from the audiences is unbelievable. For a film like Baahubali, even if the film was a ‘hit’ at the box-office, it would be considered as a flop because of its budget. It had to be a blockbuster.

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