COVER STORY — BAHUBALI MANIA PRABHAS – THE MAN EVERY GIRL WANTS TO MARRY

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Cover June-2017

After the stupendous success of Bahubali and Bahubali 2: The Conclusion, Prabhas has become the most celebrated poster boy across the nation. Women of all shapes and sizes are swooning over his macho personality. Not only that, he’s being wooed and toasted to by our Bollywood leading ladies too. And though endorsements galore are falling at his feet, Prabhas is too busy enjoying his stupendous success by taking off for an extended holiday to an undisclosed location, far away from the adulation and frenzy. Sumita Chakraborty digs up more on this magical man named Prabhas  – his life, work, love and more… Read on…

He’s the face that launched a 1,000 crore film like Bahubali. Yes, no brainer this, we are talking about the magical Prabhas who has turned all the Bollywood superstars’ box office number games, topsy-turvy. Today, fresh from the super success of Dangal, even Aamir Khan marvels at the unimaginable frenzy of Bahubali and Prabhas, which has surpassed all expectations and broken all kinds of records.

Today, Prabhas is said to be the hottest guy in the nation and women of all nationalities are clamouring to get a piece of him. Not far behind are our very own Bollywood’s sexiest heroines from Deepika to Alia Bhatt who are vying with each other to work with him. So far Katrina Kaif, in fact, trumped her competitors by piping them at the post by being the first to being offered a film with Prabhas. And if that’s not reason enough to pop the bubbly,what else is?

But it is a fact that Prabhas is indeed getting all the women in Tinsel Town in a tizzy perhaps  even leaving our Bollywood super heroes a little left out. So what is with this phenomenon called Prabhas who has stormed the bastions of the biggest superstars in Bollywood to emerge triumphant and on the top?

The Southern Conqueror

Some time ago, most South film heroes except for the great Thalaivar Rajnikant and the super talented Kamal Haasan, shied away from trying their luck in Bollywood. It was supposedly said that the masses didn’t connect with South heroes and so most films starring them – say, Nagarjuna who was relatively successful in Shiva, Dhanush who made an impact with his power-packed performance in Raanjhaana, Mahesh Babu, Chiranjeevi… and so many others – despite them doing relatively well, didn’t get the collection boxes ringing in plenty. So what happened was that most of them returned to safer grounds back home, finding the challenges in Bollywood too much to handle. Until an unassuming Prabhas decided to take up his very close friend Rajamouli’s Bahubali. And then something unexpected happened! History was rewritten completely leaving earlier records or theories in shreds. Prabhas not only busted old myths of South stars not making it in Bollywood, he went to conquer the global world too!

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Obsessed by Bahubali

When Prabhas was once asked what made him pick Bahubali, he averred, “I always dreamt of acting in a period war film. But I realised my dream was very small compared to the magnitude of Bahubali which is the biggest ever motion picture on Indian screen. I realised it was a lifetime opportunity and I feel fortunate to be a part of a film of this magnitude.”

Incidentally, before starring in the epic Bahubali, he supposedly didn’t bother to talk about his fees, he was so captivated by Rajamouli’s spectacular cinematic vision.  Not only that for the last four years, Prabhas didn’t sign any other film, he just stayed completely focussed on Bahubali.

Even to the extent that he refused an endorsement deal worth 5 crores just so that he could concentrate completely on Bahubali. And why was that? Prabhas goes on to say that for the last four years, he was so obsessed with his character Bahubali that he would eat, breathe and live his persona for every single moment.

He knew it would take time, after all a cinematic grandeur expression of this scale does take time. No wonder, Prabhas quips in an interview, “Rajamouli told me that Bahubali would take a year and a half but I was sure it would take more time because I know what a perfection he is. And it took almost four years and for that long, I was living my character day in and day out.”

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Crazy Frenzy

As for Bahubali 2: The Conclusion, Prabhas had actually predicted before the release of the film that the real experience of Bahubali would be felt only after the release of the second part. He in fact revealed that since the first part had so many unanswered questions especially one that had caught the nation’s imagination ‘Why did Kattappa kill Bahubali?’ The second part would be more intriguing and looked forward to.

And so it was. The audience who were waiting with baited breath for the Bahubali 2: The Conclusion, went totally crazy after its release. From queuing up a day before to even watching an early morning show, the fans of Bahubali just couldn’t get enough of their favourite film. And the film was spectacular! It also turned out to be a humongous grosser worldwide over and was even listed number two globally, surpassing top Hollywood films.

As for Prabhas, the frenzy just went on to a new high. He became the first South hero to make it into Madam Tussauds. Suddenly, he was the hottest sensation and his frenzied fans religiously followed and aped him. Temples were built just for him and he was worshipped as a deity by a group of frenzied lot. His female fans wrote to him in blood. Suddenly Prabhas who hitherto had lived a quiet life became the focus of mass obsession. The world just couldn’t get enough of him. But the media shy Prabhas instead of enjoying the adulation, zipped off to an undisclosed destination to recover and rejuvenate, after all, he had given his all to Bahubali for four years. Now was the time for him to sit back and give himself some ‘me’ time.

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Prabhas, The Man

Incidentally, Prabhas is considered to be a bit of a maverick. An anomaly for an actor, he hates being in the spotlight and normally, shies away when it’s not necessary for him to be in it. But if we trace his footfalls, we find out some hitherto unknown facts about the man who made himself the darling of the nation.A few years back ironically, Prabhas was actually trying to get a foothold into the Tamil film industry. But suddenly yet surely destiny smiled at him, and he became a national obsession. And, how!

Prabhas was actually born in Chennai but he debuted in a Telugu film Eeshwar in 2002.  The film did just about okay. However, he hit gold with the film Varsham in Tollywood and after that never looked back again.

His father is a film producer and his uncle, the famous actor Krishnam Raju who was also called the Rebel Star. This mantle of the title incidentally was handed over to Prabhas who is also known as the Rebel Star besides given other endearing titles like ‘Darling’.

Though born into a family that had its roots firmly entrenched in the film industry, Prabhas actually wanted to be a hotelier until thankfully (for his zillions of fans) good sense prevailed, and he went on to become an actor and soon enough, ended up becoming one of the top heroes of the Telugu industry.

Bahubali, of course, proved to be the turning point of Prabhas’ life. And this magnificent film catapulted him into the dizzy heights of stardom. Of course Prabhas too put in a lot of blood, tears and sweat into making his character larger than life more so because he played two characters – one of the father and the son, and Rajamouli had envisaged an entirely contrasting look for both these characters. As the father, he had to beef up and so he, along with Rana Daggubati (he played the super villain), worked hard on their bodies in terms of gymming and diet for the last many years.

Incidentally, did you know that the makers of Bahubali actually gifted Prabhas gym equipment worth 15 crore? And Prabhas single-mindedly worked out from morning till evening until his body was fine-tuned to perfection for the character of Bahubali. Prabhas did confess that it was definitely not easy doing workouts especially after a gruelling shoot that would take place almost 24 hours at a stretch at times, which included takes, retakes, action.  But he was determined and believed in Rajamouli’s vision. And the result was phenomenal.

Films and more

So what’s next for this wonder man? Are there any more films in the pipeline or will he rethink his strategy now after the stupendous success of Bahubali?

Prabhas, the maverick man, however, refuses to divulge details. Though he does say he has signed a Hindi film, and we assume that’s the film with Katrina Kaif, he is rather tight-lipped about it.  The only think he does say is that it is definitely not with the big daddy of Bollywood, Karan Johar. So we guess, we’ll just have to wait and watch.

Bahubali’s Marriage?

As for his personal life, incidentally, Prabhas is currently the most eligible bachelor in the nation. And though the media and his fans keep hankering to know when this gorgeous macho man will tie the knot.  Prabhas refuses to divulge any details. However, if the grapevine is to believed, there is this 22-year-old girl who has been handpicked by his parents for Prabhas – she is from Hyderabad and is an engineer – and arrangements were almost complete until he bagged Bahubali. Supposedly, Prabhas immediately put his wedding plans on hold until he completed Bahubali. But now that Bahubali is a resounding success, the buzz about Prabhas’ marriage are again doing the rounds. However, the very enigmatic Prabhas still refuses to commit at least to the media about his marriage.

So till he actually gets married, all you girls out there, go ahead, make your moves, after all he’s the hottest sensation today. He’s definitely worth it!