In an extensive and candid discussion, SS Rajamouli, Prashanth Neel, Prabhas, and Prithviraj delved into various aspects of Salaar, expressing mutual admiration for each other's talents.
Filmmaker SS Rajamouli played a host for the primary cast and crew of Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire, leading a Q&A session with director Prashanth Neel and the leading stars, Prabhas and Prithviraj Sukumaran.
In an extensive and candid discussion, the celebrities delved into various aspects of Salaar, expressing mutual admiration for each other's talents.
Here are the six key revelations from the engaging conversation.
Prashanth Neel's big confession
"This is my fourth movie. But, three times before this, I did not like my movies before release. This time, I am more nervous because I like the movie. Previously, I was so nervous that the movies were not going to do well and they said that's probably a superstition that I should not like my movie," confessed Prashanth.
The director also feels that all the teaser trailers that have been released so far for Salaar have failed to capture the "pure drama" that defines this film.
The pains of working with Prabhas
Prithviraj revealed that it was hard to stick to a diet plan while working with Prabhas. "One day, my family came to visit me on the sets. I have a 9-year-old daughter. He (Prabhas) asked her what she would like to eat. She rattled off 20 different things. I am not exaggerating; it's the truth. I had to take the extra room to keep all the food. And the thing is, he doesn't eat either and he keeps feeding you," he recalled.
Prashanth, too, had a few complaints about Prabhas. He suggested that the star had put so much faith in his vision that he never questioned anything, causing the director to second-guess everything he wrote. "When I tell him a scene, he loves it. And he does not scrutinise it and I go back confused," he claimed. Since he doesn't face any resistance from Prabhas, he is forced to wonder whether he is doing right or needs a second opinion.
Prabhas' appreciation for Prithviraj
Prabhas is in awe of the multi-tasking ability of Prithviraj, who is well-versed in different aspects of filmmaking. "He is giving the biggest blockbuster; he's a superstar, and he's very good in many things. For example, when I dubbed Saaho and Radhe Shyam in Hindi, it was very hard for me. But he's working in a Telugu film for the first time and even when Prashanth changed something on the sets, he never lost his cool. I fell in love with him, actually. I fell in love with Prithviraj more than Shruti Haasan," said Prabhas.
Prabhas also highlighted how Prashanth has the habit of changing the lines at the last minute. While it may not be a challenge for Prabhas, for Prithviraj, who never had to speak Telugu before Salaar or has not watched more than five Telugu films so far, it became a daunting challenge.
Prashanth Cinematic Universe, anyone?
Based on the visual similarities between the KGF films and Salaar, many assumed that these two films were interconnected and would share overlapping timelines and characters. However, Prashanth clarified that KGF and Salaar have nothing to do with each other. He suggested it would have been convenient for him to do a movie multiverse but he wanted to build a whole new world from scratch that would give Prabhas a memorable character in his career. "First, I am not capable of making such (cinematic) connections. I am making a new world. The way people took Rocky (from KGF) home with them, I want them to take Deva (Prabhas) back home with them," he revealed.
However, Prashanth is fond of directors who can get it right. "I like the Avenger series. It came out right. Lokesh (Kanagaraj) is doing it in Tamil. I am not capable of doing that because these (KGF and Salaar) happen in different timelines. KGF is set in the 80s and Salaar happens in today's period," he added.
Prabhas almost said no to Prashanth Neel
Prabhas recalled that following the release of KGF, everyone felt he should have done that film. He noted that even some politicians suggested the same. During that time, Prashanth sought to meet him and he was also curious to know why he wanted the meeting. The initial encounter focused on establishing acquaintances, with no discussion about potential collaboration. Subsequently, Prabhas committed to two significant projects: Adipurush and Project K. "Out of nowhere, around 12 in the night, I got a call saying Prashanth wants to work with you. If I say yes, other filmmakers would get angry, and if I say no, I may not work with him again as he has other stars waiting to work with him. And I asked how many days he needed, and the producer was very smart; he said only 45 days. We were wondering how he could shoot a film in 45 days. It took him six years to complete his last two films. But we thought we could now lie to other directors and say that it was just 45 days. I thought a whole day about how to say no. The next day, I started worrying that if fans came to know that I said no to Prashanth Neel for whatever reasons, they would kill me," Prabhas recalled.
In the end, Prabhas ended up shooting for 112 days for Salaar Part 1.
Prithviraj is key to the drama in Salaar
When Hombale Films approached Prithviraj with an offer to be part of Salaar, he was in a mood to say no. He assumed that he would not have much to do in a film that stars Prabhas as the lead. But everything changed when he heard the script and the importance of his character, Vardharaja Mannar, in it. He claimed that he never imagined he would get such a central character in a film like this.
It seems Prithviraj was not exaggerating or playing humble. Prashanth suggested that Prithviraj's character was the emotional nucleus of the drama in Salaar. "The only thing I didn't convey in the trailer is the drama. And to put that in a trailer would take me about 8 minutes. More than the scale, design and outlook about being a big pan-India movie and everything, the biggest scale I have in the movie is Prithviraj sir. The biggest scale and drama I have in the Prabhas film will come with Prithviraj Sukumaran," said the director.