S.S. Rajamouli, the director of one of India’s most successful film, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, opens up about what his life is like, now that the frenzy is over.
Q How was the experience of making Baahubali 2?
We were so caught up in doing our best while working on the film, there was not much time to speculate. But now, looking back, it’s humbling to see the response to years of hard work that was put in.
Q Did it ever occur to you and your father Vijayendra Prasad, the writer, that Baahubali would become such a hit?
When you give so much to a project and tell a story on such a large scale, the success or loss is also on that big a scale. Yes, we expected it to do well and we were also aware of what would happen if it didn’t.
Q After spending the last five years on the film, is there a sense of emptiness now?
Nothing’s changed. Life is the same. I just have a little more time to myself. I have plans to do bigger and better projects. If I will succeed or not, only time will tell. Yes, there is a sense of emptiness, although I can’t tell whether it is emptiness or fulfilment.
Q Are you still in contact with the cast and crew?
Everyone has to continue with their own journey. But we try as much as possible to keep in touch. Everyone will remember Baahubali as a wonderful phase in their lives; an experience such as this is hard to forget.
Q Baahubali produced staggering box office numbers. How much of this wealth has actually come to you?
A fraction only (laughs).
Q Being a simple person who lives in a two-room house, has the Baahubali windfall affected your lifestyle? Are you building a new home for yourself?
I am quite happy in my home. I am not building any sprawling houses. But I am planning to build a small farmhouse, two hours away from Hyderabad, as an occasional weekend getaway. Not everything in my life is of Baahubalian size.
Q Now that Baahubali is over, is life ahead a nightmare?
What nightmare? It is a fantastic dream come true. The next project will happen when it has to. I have two commitments here. But it’s still a little early to talk about them.
Q As Baahubali moves to China, what do you think of Dangal’s success there?
Dangal’s success in China is unprecedented. It is the power of an Indian story and Indian storytelling. Aamirji has laid a fantastic platform. I think this will also help Baahubali when it releases in China.
Q What do you feel now that Bollywood has embraced you with open arms?
We believed and proved that there are no regional language barriers for a good story. I try to make an Indian film that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Q What do you attribute Baahubali’s success to?
It’s not one man’s success. If we believe in the content and emotion of the story, with hard work and dedication towards a single goal, right from the core cast and crew to the light boy, the probability of success increases manifold!