Wearing his trademark tinted aviators, Rana Daggubati was in a great mood to talk about his recent success — Ghazi, the impending release of Baahubali -2 and how important it is for films to expand their boundaries.
Success of Ghazi
It was an India-Pakistan war film and I knew people would watch it. The surprise though, was Chennai. We made a Hindi- Telugu film which is dubbed in Tamil. We were also not sure of how big the release should be in Tamil. That’s why it was a multiplex release at first — which later branched out to other centers as well.
Tamil audiences are always receptive to good cinema, and the response from here has made us think that we must probably do films in Tamil- Telugu and dub it in Hindi.
On Hosting the IIFA utsavam
Awards shows are a great platform for actors and technicians of all industries to come together. We are industries that are so close, but yet very far. There are a very few talents that everybody knows. So such events help all of us connect.
I will be hosting the event along with Shiva, whose humour sense I love — and I will also host the Telugu version with my good friend Nani. So it is going to be two great days for me!
Baahubali Fever again!
I was in Mumbai for Baahubali’s trailer release — a major newspaper had carried the posters of Baahubali and 2.0 on the front page with the caption ‘The biggest films in India this year’.
It has the faces of Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar, Prabhas and myself. Three out of the four faces are not from Mumbai! It is a very proud moment, being from the south indian film family.
How baahubali has changed the face of South Indian cinema
When I see numbers like 85 million views for the trailer, the feeling is beyond overwhelming. I’m like ‘Dude, this is crazy!’
To even dub a Telugu or Tamil film in Hindi and release it there was a huge deal. But now the doors have opened. I think I even owe Ghazi to the success of Baahubali. Earlier we had only people travelling across — Mani Ratnam, AR Murugadoss or other technicians. But now, it’s the films that are doing the talking.
Will miss playing Bhallaladeva
Until the day the trailer released, the feeling that Baahubali is over did not sink in. All I knew is that it took me five years. So yes, I will miss playing the big, bad guy. Now, more than the success of the film, I think I will celebrate the experience I had shooting for the film. When we started out, we just put in all our money, time and resources, assuming that it would grab everyone’s attention.
But the success of the first part reinstilled that faith in us. Now we know that if your content is top notch, there is an entire country out there to watch you, and watch you well!
Riding high on humour
She is still known as the girl who made the ‘fish-face’ popular among Tamil audience, two years ago. The Anegan actress Amyra Dastur talks to us about her films — both regional and international.
Anegan — her biggest break
People still recognise me for my work in Anegan. It is definitely my best performance till date. We shot for over 120 days and KV Anand was very smart and made sure we transitioned from the easier portions to the more difficult ones. Playing four characters in one movie was quite a task, and I am happy I was recognised for it.
On Odi Odi Uzhaikanum
It’s my first attempt at doing humour, and it’s a full on family entertainer. I play an investigative journalist, and Santhanam comes into my life.
The humourous turn of events form the story. Santhanam is just as funny on sets as he is on screen, so, it has been great fun shooting for this film.
On being a part of many regional films
Getting to act in many languages is perhaps the biggest advantage of being an actress, in this male dominated industry. We actually get more chances than male stars do.
The scheduling havoc it creates is totally worth being recognised in different regions and globally as well.
Changing standards of beauty
When it comes to my looks, I am very conscious about promoting a healthy body image. I would never tell a person how he or she should look. I be the way I am happy with, and that is what I want to tell young girls — they should be happy with their choices. Nobody is a perfect mannequin.
Jackie Chan is the sweetest!
Kung Fu Yoga was my favorite movie set so far. As a travel bug, I was so happy that I got to travel to three different countries for the film, as well. And Jackie Chan is the kindest person I have ever met — he is the type of guy who is willing to talk to you about anything. You can ask him any question and he will be more than happy to give his opinions, and share his life experiences.
Honing her Tamil skills
I’ll have to admit that my Tamil is still as bad as it was when I started! (sighs) The one word I know very well is ‘saaptingala’, because that’s what I get asked most often. And yes, I know a few cuss words too. (laughs) Everyone on sets helps me with that; you know that is the best way to learn a new language.
I’m not a very linguistic person, but I do my best to learn my lines, understand them and emote accordingly....