Q How was your experience working with actors from the South and the Hindi?
I have stopped looking at actors as belonging to the South or North or to the Hindi industry or the Tamil, Telugu or Kannada industry. Even before that, I stopped looking at audiences as being Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, etc. I write a script and look at which actor has the capability to play a part, or will look best in it, irrespective of whether he’s a Malayali, a Bengali or anything else. I just approach the actor and ask if he’s interested. I can't deny the fact that having Baahubali behind me helps a lot. But I don’t go with that visiting card, I go with the visiting card of my script and my characterisation.
Q RRR The clash of RRR with Radhe Shyam will affect the business?
The clash won’t hamper the business. Even if four films come together, if they are good, people are going to come to watch all of them. There are multiple instances in the past when this has happened. And it’s not just Radhe Shyam – more films are going to come. I certainly hope and wish all the films are good, all of them make money, make the audience excited and happy. This is not the time to say ‘my film has to do well, the other film should not.’ This is the time for all of us to come together and want all films to make money.
Ram Charan and Rajamouli share a light moment
Q So a bottleneck competition is expected?
Because of the COVID times and everything being shut for one-and-a-half years, a bottleneck is expected. But if your content is good, it doesn’t matter how many films come together. People are going to come. They’ll be looking for many choices.
Q Was there a dilemma for you about releasing RRR in theatres?
I make films only for theatres, for the audience to come together, watch together... The way I operate is to see a large number of audience members sitting inside a cinema hall experiencing a film. So, the decision was easy for me, there was no dilemma involved.
Q How have you managed to stay clear of historical contradictions that are common in period films?
Such problems occur in biopics. From the beginning, we have made it clear that this is completely fictional. I took the lives of these real-life freedom fighters — Allu Sitaram Raju and Komaram Bhim — who belong to the same era, and worked in the same way to bring about an uprising of their people. There is a gap in their stories, when no one knows what happened in their lives. I was excited to imagine what would have happened if these two superheroes had actually met and exchanged ideas. What if they were friends or had fought against each other? There is not one bit of real historical fact in the film. It is about an imaginary friendship between two real superheroes.