Jr NTR plays the role of Komaram Bheem, a revolutionary leader in British India, in SS Rajamouli directorial RRR, which is set to hit screens on March 25. In this interview with indianexpress.com, the actor talks about his experience of working with Rajamouli who carved the path for pan-India films. Jr NTR also reveals why he decided to be a part of a two-hero movie.
Once an actor stars in a SS Rajamouli film, the tag ‘Rajamouli’s hero’ stays with them for a long time. Prabhas is an example. Does it bother you?
I don’t believe that one particular character can define any actor forever. It is about the impact of the movie or role. If tomorrow there is another film in which an actor has excelled, then people will associate the actor with that role or film. The film is a branding for you to connect with the audience. So today RRR is a brand, tomorrow there will be something else. Having said this, I am proud to be Rajamouli’s hero for the excitement and challenge that he gives his actors. I am truly happy to be called Rajamouli’s hero forever.
After playing the lead in a magnum opus like RRR, what kind of films will you pick in the future? Will working on RRR affect your future projects?
Picking the right film is the only way to go. It is exciting to do a movie like this, but that doesn’t mean I’d be less excited to do other films. If I am not excited about something, I wouldn’t be a part of it. It is never about the scale of the film, how many languages it will release in, or if it will break regional barriers. It is always about how much the film excites you and how much does it challenge you as an actor. Ultimately, you really want your films to make money. For an actor, the journey is very important. And that journey is not connected with the economics of the film. I should be excited enough to wake up every day to go on the film’s set.
You are starring in a two-hero film. Do you feel any insecurity that another actor will hog more limelight?
Charan is such a great actor and a longtime friend. He is like a gol-gappa. He looks simple from outside, but when you get to know him, you want to savour his energy, his talent as an actor and his passion of exploring. It is so important to be able to work with more actors like this, and I hope we do more films together.
We lost out on the culture of multi-starrers because of the insecurity of actors. But it is coming back. We are starting to see multi-starrers again. Yes, there will be a healthy competition. As long as you are bringing in energy to the market, it is great. As long as it stays healthy, it is good. Otherwise it doesn’t help the actors or the film. Charan and I are going to make sure that we work together in more movies. We will keep it healthy.
In any two-hero film or multi-starrer, it is important that we have a congruent vision and there is a balance between both the actors. This comes when actors have a lot of confidence in the maker. We know that we are in safe hands when we do a film like this with Rajamouli.
Will you be open to doing an out-and-out Bollywood film?
Am I not doing one already? RRR is the answer. Today, thanks to Rajamouli, who opened the doors of other markets for us, somewhere we stopped being regional. It has become one big film industry now. With films like Baahubali and RRR, we have broken the barrier.