Here's what pretty Tamannaah had to say about her upcoming epic film Baahubali, when I met her for a small candid chat about the film
After being away from films this year, vivacious beauty Tamannaah is all set to have a big release on 10th of June. Being a part of India's biggest motion picture, Baahubali: The Beginning, has got the actress all pumped up as she eagerly awaits for audience response. Recently, I caught up with beautiful Tamannaah for a small chat on the film which has got the fans and critics go gaga over it way before its release. Eager to know what and all did Avantika from Baahubali revealed about the film. Read on.
Baahubali stars two actresses - yourself and Anushka Shetty. Did you ever feel insecure about your role as Anushka is said to play an important character?
First of all I am very lucky to be a part of this film. And no I didn't feel threatened at all. There three main female characters in the film - Avantika played me, Deva Sena played by Anushka and Sivagami played by Raamya Krishnan. But the best thing about Baahubali is that all the female characters in the film are so strong that their presence cannot be missed. All the three women characters have equally important roles to play in the film.
It is being said that the dialogues in the film are very less. Was it done deliberately so that it could have a pan India appeal?
It's not like that. Baahubali is a visual driven film. I am doing action sequences for the first time in the film. Yes, the dialgoues are less but the characters do convey the basic emotions through their actions and body language, which makes it very palatable for audience from all parts of the country.
How was it performing actions stunts in the film?
It was very challenging. I had to wear a heavy armour and had to weild swords, bow and arrow. I had to put on special make up for the film which took like 2-3 hours. So everytime I had to shoot a stunt scene, there were lot of preparations behind it. Most of my scenes were shot in actual rain, which added to the difficulty factor. Generally in movies, rains are artificially created, but shooting in real rains is a different ball game all together. We had to shoot action scenes in puddle of water upto the knee.
Would you want to do a complete women centric?
Of course I would love to do it if something like that comes my way. But more than just being a women centric film, I would like to do films which also connects with audience. There are films like Queen or Mardaani which are women centric at the same time manage to strike a chord with the audience.
Does your role have a romantic angle to it?
Apart from action, yes my charcter Avantika does have love angle. I am paired opposite Prabhas' character Shivudu. Prabhas plays two characters in the film - Baahubali and Shivudu, who are father and son basically. I am paired opposite the son's character.
How's your onscreen and offscreen chemistry with Prabhas and Rana?
I don't share any screen space with Rana. My entire interaction in the film is only with Prabhas. I have done a film with Prabhas before so we were already friends. He is a person who is really really helpful. When I had to do my first action scene, Prabhas was really helpful and warned me what to do and what not to do since he had already shot over 100 days of war sequence before I joined. Even while we were shooting together, he always used to look out for me and share his insights with me. Even when he got injured and was not shooting, he used to look over my stunt shoots and was really protective. It is very difficult to find such co-stars these days.
How was it working with Rajamouli?
I have never met a person like him before. But when I did get to meet him, I thought to myself I want to be like him. He is somebody who strikes an amazing balance between his personal life and work. Most of his family helped him making Baahubali. First AD at the sets was his son, music director is his cousin, the line producer is his cousin brother's wife, the costumes were designed by his wife. So you see, it was not just Rajamouli's film.It was complete family's film. Each of the were crucial coz without them this film wouldn't have been made. Rajamouli is a sort of a person who puts in efforts without the worry of what the reaction will be. He is busy recreating his vision to life.
Do you feel that filmmakers in Bollywood filmmakers don't take actresses fro South as seriously as they should be? Is there a baggage of being a South actress while one tries to make it big in Bollywood?
It is true at times. It does happen as people think ' oh she is a south actress'. Basially I am from Mumbai. But not many knew that I was born and brought up in Mumbai. There is a certain kinda hangup that comes while doing a south film. I feel it just takes one person to break that barrier. Again every individual have their own transition. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. What you said is true. But there is nothing much you can do about it. You just have to up your game and hope things work out.
How big is Karan Johar's role in Baahubali?
It is extremely crucial. See, Baahubali is India's most expensive film. A film like this in such a large scale has never been made. It has the potential to be a great film. It has some astounding visuals and VFX. So, for a regional film this big, you need someone like Karan Johar to show his support and back the film. His name makes the film pan India. So if at all the film does well all over the country, then the credit goes to Karan.
Period war films are very rare in Bollywood and are not often recieved well by the audience. Does it add any pressure on Baahbubali?
These kind of war films have to be made really well for it work. Any film, which is not made well, will not succeed well at box office. There are only tow kinds of films - good films and bad films. So if earlier, such kind of films have not worked well, then it entirely depends on the way it is made rather than the genre of the film. We have done a good job and we hope that peole will come to theatres to watch it. Also, a lot of SS Rajamouli's films have been remade in Hindi - Rowdy Rathore was remake of his Vikramarkudu. Son of Sardar was again his film remade in Hindi. So his films always have had strong content and they manage to stir an emotion in you. Also, VFX is state of the art.
Did anyone from Bollywood give their feedback on the trailer?
No one has contacted me yet. But I have recieved soe rave response from the public, family and friends. They were all stunned looking at the scale of the film. But what I suggest is that people should watch this in big screen to really appreciate the beauty of Baahubali. Small screens do not do justice to the grandeur of the film.
Any memorable moment while shooting the film?
The entire Mahabaleshwar shoot was very memorable for me. We were shooting in rains for days and days. I had never felt so alive in a film set before. The rain, the weather, the rainforest ambience just gave a unique feel to it. There was much happening behind camera. So the Mahabaleshwar shoot was truly memorable for me.
I have heard there is a song in the film which people will not get to see on TV before the release of the film. Can you tell us a little more about the song?
It is a song called Dheevara picturised on me and Prabhas. If you remember the shot from the trailer where Prabhas leaps with a waterfall on background, that is just a frame from the song. The entire song has been made on VFX effects and I have heard it has turned out really well. Except for the platform on which Prabhas and me were standing, everything else is graphically generated. I haven't seen the song yet, so I can't tell much about the song. It is as much a suspense to me as it is for rest of you all.
A lot of films have been pushed back in order to avoid clash with Baahubali on box office. But in Bollywood, there is Salman's Bajrangi Bhaijaan coming right after your film. Does it add more pressure on Baahubali to perform?
I feel if the film is good, people will watch it eventually. But if it is a bad film, it will still do bad irrespective of competition at box office.It is really nice that a lot of filmmakers down south have respected Baahubali and have decided not to release their film. If the film reaches out to audience the way we imagine it to, I don't think there would be any problems.
How difficult it was for you to adapt to South Indian culture and learning different languages?
I started off at a very young age of 15. At that time I didn't knew anything about films. I was like a sponge as I would just absorb everything that was happening on the sets. I didn't have a perception about things. And since I started very early, it was easier for me to grasp different culture and gain knowledge on films. But had I made my debut at 20, my jourey would have been different. I feel the earlier you start, the longer you can prolong you career.
Your upcoming projects?
I am working on a bilungual film with Nagarjuna and Karthi. It is a Tamil and Telugu bilingual. I have a film in Tamil slated for August release. Apart from that I am doing one more film in Telugu. Other than Baahubali, I have no other projects in Bollywood as of now.
Are you a part of Baahubali 2?
Yes. I have a very brief role in the second part. People will get to see a large chunk of my role in the first part.
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