Prabhas, better known for his larger than life image as Baahubali, was recently seen in a romantic role of a palmist in his latest release, Radhe Shyam. The actor has come a long way–from delivering Telugu hits to gaining immense fame with SS Rajamouli’s two magnum opuses in the Baahubali franchise and following it with pan-India releases like Saaho and Radhe Shyam. Trying to take his popularity across the country to an all new high, Prabhas claims he is still trying to get better at Hindi. Also read: Radhe Shyam box office: Producers claim film has made ₹150 crore, Hindi version manages just ₹14 crore
In an interview with Hindustan Times, Prabhas opened up about Radhe Shyam and all the reasons that could have led to the film not being able to hit the right chord with the audience. He also spoke about the success of South films across the globe. Excerpts:
How does it feel that you have become a larger than life figure, not just an actor?
(Laughs) Rajamouli gave me that larger than life Baahubali image. Some people only want to watch me in that role.
Your latest release Radhe Shyam is now releasing on television instead of heading to an OTT platform. Your comments.
I hope families like Radhe Shyam when they watch it on the television screen. Because of the pandemic, people are watching a lot of things on the television and other platforms, so I hope they sit together and enjoy the film.
You played a palmist in Radhe Shyam. Do you believe in destiny and astrology?
Destiny, yes. But generally, I don’t follow astrology or palmistry. I have heard interesting stories but I have never showed my palm to anyone. I know it’s a part of our culture and people from around the world have learnt it but I don’t follow it.
Do you think the pressure of your Baahubali success affects your new projects, the pressure to deliver something as big as that one?
Yes, the pressure is there for my directors and producers to get good response like Baahubali. I don’t have that pressure to cross Baahubali or make the biggest film. I am very lucky to have Baahubali but I want to have the pleasure to entertain as much audience as possible in the country. Without me or Baahubali, I just want them to be entertained.
What do you think led to Radhe Shyam not bringing in the crores as expected?
Maybe covid or maybe we missed something in script. You people know better. May be people don’t want to watch me in that zone, even if they want to watch – may be they expect me to be too good.
You delivered several Telugu films for first 11-12 years of your career. But Baahubali reached out to the Hindi audience as well. Saaho and Radhe Shyam released in Hindi as well. Are you comfortable with Hindi now?
Yes, I need to get better. I am getting better from Saaho to Radhe Shyam, I need to get much better. The audience, the press and the people I know make me very comfortable but I still need to improve a lot.
You are now working with actors which are already known in Bollywood – Shraddha Kapoor, Kriti Sanon, Saif Ali Khan. Does it help in the film’s pan-india release?
Yes, definitely the actors will help but it’s always the script. The audience know the actors with whom they are more comfortable. The directors don’t need to make the characters more strong, immediately you can relate with the actor as soon as his/her face is on the screen. Otherwise, you need to fill the character.
You now have three big budget films in the line up – Adipurush, Salaar and Project K. Will they have a similar scale as Baahubali or Radhe Shyam?
Yes, but in a different way. We can’t compete with Baahubali but the scale is big.
What do you have to say about the success of South films like Pushpa and RRR?
It’s not about south, north, east or west. People can like some films and it can happen in any part of the country. Maine Pyaar Kiya ran for 175 days, Khalnayak ran for 150 days. There was Khuda Gawah, Muqabla, Hindustan, Roja and Bombay – they were always there in the Indian cinema. Now people are more open to them. Robot 1 was a beautiful film, the exposure was not so good. It’s a very good sign. We are going to have lot of Indian films and we are going to make beautiful films around the country and people around the country will watch them. It’s a very good sign.
Does Adipurush have a connect with the modern times or it’s Ramayana on screen again. What all can we expect from the film?
It’s a 3D film but only director Om Raut will be able to explain better.
You have rumoured to be in a relationship with your Baahubali co-star for the longest time. You have never confirmed anything ever. So when do you wish you to settle down with a partner.
I don’t know. Maybe in future, definitely.
Radhe Shyam will be showcased for the first time on television in Hindi on April 24 at 12 noon on Zee Cinema.