Actor Sonu Sood recalled having a conversation with Baahubali star Prabhas while he was making SS Rajamouli’s epic fantasy film, and how the entire crew was driven to give up because of the challenging nature of the work. Sonu said that there is a ‘discipline’ in the South Indian film industry that might be lacking in Bollywood.
Sonu revealed in an appearance on The Ranveer Show podcast that he was initially surprised that he was offered only villainous roles in South Indian films, because he wasn’t in a position to choose his projects, he agreed to do them. Later, he came to be regarded as a lucky charm of sorts, and would be cast in many big projects as the antagonist. He said he transitioned into ‘positive’ roles only because in the South Indian industries, it is very difficult to get two major male stars of equal stature to work on the same film. And so, to cast parallel lead roles, producers started turning to him.
Asked if he could predict the success of RRR and Baahubali while working in the south, he said in Hindi, “I was once in talks for Baahubali, they needed more than two years, and I was working on Happy New Year at the time. These films can’t be made, they make themselves. I still remember meeting Prabhas at the time; we’ve worked together in the past. I asked him how it’s going, and he said, ‘We’re tired. We finished 30% of the second part and gave up. We couldn’t shoot any more. We’ll release the first part and see how it does and make the second part only if the first one works.’”
This is why, Sonu said, the film ended so abruptly. “It wasn’t supposed to be the ending; they hadn’t even finished the second part,” he said, adding, “It’s only after the first Baahubali became a hit that they decided to finish the remaining 70%.”
Directed by Rajamouli, Baahubali: The Beginning made over Rs 650 crore worldwide in 2015. Released two years later, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion made over Rs 1700 crore worldwide.