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Prabhas says Rajamouli encouraged him to do 'Salaar': 'Don't even think, just do it'

New Delhi: Prabhas says he often seeks advice from SS Rajamouli on his future projects and when filmmaker Prashanth Neel approached the actor for ‘Salaar’, the ‘Baahubali’ director asked him to grab the opportunity with both hands.

Prabhas and Neel are awaiting the release of ‘Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire’, which hits the screens on Friday. It also stars Prithviraj Sukumaran and Shruti Haasan.

The team of ‘Salaar’ sat for a conversation moderated by Rajamouli. In the video shared by production house Hombale Films on its official X page, Prabhas praised Neel of ‘KGF’ films fame for crafting ‘Salaar’ as a beautiful drama.

“Prashanth sir did extraordinary drama, especially me and Prithvi sir. The whole story is between us. There’s a beautiful drama between me, the mother and Shruti Haasan. He’s very good in drama, even in ‘KGF’ we see drama.”

“I think he got inspired from you (Rajamouli) also because he used to talk about you. When we thought we’ll do ‘Salaar’, I called Rajamouli. I always call him. I was like ‘Prashanth wants to do a film’, and he was like ‘Don’t even think, just do it’,” Prabhas said.

The actor also recalled how life changed for him after the phenomenal success of Rajamouli’s two-part period action drama ‘Baahubali’.

“After ‘Baahubali’, it was really tough. I didn’t know what to do. Suddenly, I went from the Telugu industry to India to Japan. I went to Italy and abroad. It is very comfortable because no one knows us there.”

“In Italy, I was standing outside a Dolce Gabbana store and suddenly a man came, couldn’t even speak English and he said ‘Prabhas’. He didn’t say Baahubali, he said Prabhas. I was like ‘Rajamouli, I can’t even live here.’ But it’s so exciting. I thought ‘Rajamouli, one film, that’s it’,” he added.

Set in a fictional city of Khansaar, ‘Salaar’ revolves around two friends Deva and Vardha, played by Prabhas and Prithviraj, who end up becoming arch rivals.

Prithviraj, known for films such as ‘Lucifer’ and ‘Ayyappanum Koshiyum’, likened the upcoming film to American epic fantasy series ‘Game of Thrones’.

“I keep comparing ‘Salaar’ to ‘Game of Thrones’ because the drama is like, there are so many characters, plot points and intricate character dynamics. I don’t know how he (the director) has fit the story into two parts. It’s a tough thing to do,” he said.

After the release of the film’s trailer, a section of social media users started speculating that the worlds of ‘Salaar’ and ‘KGF’ could be connected. Putting the rumours to rest, Neel said there was ‘no link’ between the two film series.

The filmmaker also weighed in on ‘Salaar’ receiving the ‘A’ certification (Adults only) from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

“I was very disappointed. I know that I have not made a vulgar movie or a movie that is insensible with violence. The violence in the film is needed. I was disappointed, but Prabhas told me it’s okay. It was not designed for violence, but for drama and emotion,” he added.

When Rajamouli asked if the makers had put in a song featuring Prabhas and Shruti, Neel said they “almost took that route”.

“We initially thought of putting something like a mass number or a duet. But we were sucked into the drama so much that we never used Shruti for a glamour quotient. She has a very strong character in the story,” the filmmaker said.

‘Salaar’ also stars Eshwari Rao, Jagapathi Babu and Sriya Reddy.

(Published 20 December 2023, 12:47 IST)

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