There are two Rajamoulis out there. The one before and the one after Baahubali. Before Baahubali Rajamouli was one of the several successful Telugu directors. After Baahubali he became the most successful filmmaker of India.
When Rajamouli had signed Prabhas I had asked him, why sign an actor who (at that point of time) was not known outside Andhra, for such a big project. "It’s an old commitment. Baahubali would have to be made with Prabhas only,” Raja replied firmly.
He was also very keen to have Sridevi on board as the Queen Mother, the role that eventually went to Ramya Krishna. Boney Kapoor apparently quoted a price on behalf of his wife that sent Rajamouli stumbling to Ms Krishna’s doorstep. In an unguarded moment Rajamouli revealed in an interview that Sridevi had too many demands, and was therefore not part of Baahubali.
Reacting strongly to this Sridevi had said to me, “First of all, I can’t believe he (Rajamouli) would talk like that.Secondly I am not the kind to make any kind of demands.Whatever happened with Baahubali is in the past. Why are we talking about it now? There are so many roles that I’ve turned down in the past.I think it’s highly impolite to talk about the films you don’t do.”
When I had contacted Rajamouli he didn’t deny saying what he did about Sridevi’s non-presence in Baahubali. But he did regret talking about it in public. “As for whose version to believe, I guess it is for people to decide whom to believe. But one thing is for sure. I shouldn't have discussed the details on a public platform. That's a mistake. And I regret it.”
The fight now seems to have surfaced again with Rajamouli announcing a Dussehra release for his RRR alongside Boney Kapoor’s Maidaan.
Image source: Instagram/ssrajamouli/ SpotboyE archive