Prabhas made his debut in 2011 with Eeswar where he shared screen space with Revathi who played his stepmother. The two had some powerful confrontational scenes , a la Anil Kapoor and Aruna Irani in Beta Revathy chewed up the scenes , quite like Aroona Irani. Eeswar bombed .
Prabhas’s stardom didn’t begin with Baahubali.It actually started six years earlier. Before Rajamouli made Magadheera he told Prabhas he was planning another big film.He told Prabhas just a four-line story about a South Indian king.Prabhas was deeply impressed. However after Magadheera Rajamouli got busy with Eega(Makhee) and Prabhas got busy doing a film called Rebel. It took them one-and-a-half years to complete their respective films.
Three years after Rajamouli first told Prabhas about Baahubali , Rajamouli gave the star a full narration.Prabhas got goosebumps. “What I really liked about the script of Baahubali was that it wasn’t only about the hero and the villain. The other characters were also fascinating. This was Rajamouli’s first script where all the characters were given equal importance .I was really kicked by the idea of so many characters working so well in one script.”
Rajamouli asked for a year of Prabhas’ dates. Prabhas gave him two years.When he heard the script he knew there were things that had never been done.He knew it was going to take a lot of time. No one had ever attempted anything like Baahubali.
Prabhas also knew every moment he give to it will be worth his while.For six months he did rigorous physical preparation. He learnt rock climbing for the romantic song , kick-boxing, horse-riding, sword-fighting…everything. Prabhas also had to change his physical appearance. Before Baahubali he was really underweight. Every morning and evening he worked out to gain a lot of muscles.From skinny to beefy,Prabhas was determined to gain ‘brawny’ points for Baahubali.
Recalled Parbhas, “I had to bulk up. A thin warrior was not acceptable to my director or to the audience.I had to look larger than life, like someone who could kill.I specially worked on my arm muscles since Baahubali is supposed to be most powerful in his arms. I was training for almost three hours every day for six months before shooting started. Once the shooting started there was no time. I’d wake up at 5 pm to get ready for a 7 am shoot and we’d go on shooting till 10 pm.I had to learn a whole new way of living to play the role. I had to play two different characters of the prince and the warrior. I tried to bring in two different body languages for the roles.They are born and brought up differently and I had to play them accordingly.”
Luckily Prabhas was shooting in Hyderabad most of the time. But still it was a good two hours away from home, so he didn’t get to go home much during shooting. Cut off from family, beefed up and performing very dangerous stunts, Prabhas’ life changed irrevocably after Baahubali.
After the release of Baahubali there was a ‘Teenon Khan Pareshan’ cartoon regarding his success but Prabhas denied any aspirations to usurp the Khan triumvirate. “That’s not my aim. I’ve no plans for Hindi films. To me it was important to see Baahubali become a big success. After that, if I get good Hindi films, why not? After all the Hindi film industry is the biggest film industry in India.My audience was seeing me on screen after 2 ½ years .I think Baahubali is a film that I will be remembered by.It is a benchmark. It changed my life and career completely and I am really thankful for that.My family and fans are also very happy about Baahubali. Yes it’s a benchmark. But I can’t do that again. I am just trying to make the films that would entertain and hopefully not disappoint the audience.”
Prabhas’ dream role? “I am a foodie. But since I am in this profession I have watch my diet. I became a vegan which my mother didn’t like. But what to do? If I get a chance to play a character who is a foodie I will grab it with both hands.”
That’s some thought for food on this unlikely superstar’s birthday who plays Lord Rama next.Burp re burp.