Megastar Chiranjeevi revealed a moment of his life when he felt “insulted” and “humiliated.” At Acharya‘s pre-release event, Chiranjeevi narrated an incident, which took place in 1989. The actor recalled he was called to Delhi as his film Rudraveeni was being honoured with Nargis Dutt award. He said that a day before the award ceremony, the government organised a high tea during which, he was taking a walk against the wall that portrayed history of Indian cinema. He remembered that the wall portrayed icons like Prithviraj Kapoor to Amitabh Bachchan with a brief about them.
“I kept walking in expectation to see something on south films. However, there was only a still of MGR with Jayalalithaa and a photo of Prem Nazir. They titled it as south Films. Just that. They did not recognise stalwarts like Raj Kumar or Vishnuvardhan or NT Ramarao or Nageshwara Rao or Sivaji Ganesan or even the legendary filmmakers of our industries. I felt very humiliated at that moment. It was like an insult. They portrayed Hindi cinema as Indian cinema. While other films were categorised as ‘regional films’ and were not given respect,” Chiranjeevi revealed.
He added that he spoke about it back then but received no response. However, with Baahubali or RRR, he feels proud that now the nation is recognising directors, actors and writers from south India. He said the films have broken the regional barriers and respectfully earned the tag of being pan-Indian films.
“Baahubali made me proud as it removed the demarcation between regional and Hindi cinema and proved that we all are a part of Indian film industry. These films have made Telugu audience proud. Hats off to SS Rajamouli for giving us films like Baahubali and RRR. He will be remembered forever,” Chiranjeevi said and gave him the tag of ‘Demigod of Indian cinema.’
Chiranjeevi also praised Yash’s KGF 2 and Allu Arjun’s Pushpa. He said that with the success of these films, the actors, including Prabhas, have become pan-India actors.
As the event continued, the actor also mentioned how SS Rajamouli is also a reason as to why Acharya could be possible. Apparently, the script was offered to Ram Charan first; the role of Chiranjeevi was first offered to his son.
“There was a time when Ram Charan had to do both the films. Doing a film with SS Rajamouli means getting locked in his house. He doesn’t leave his actors. Ram was confused how can he shoot for RRR and Acharya together, which is when I came into the picture. I asked him to invite Koratala Siva at our place. I asked him if I can do the role instead of Ram. An ecstatic Siva was overjoyed with the offer. But months later, we needed someone to play Siddha in Acharya. Siva was adamant that he wanted Ram for this role. So, I told Rajamouli that it is my wife Surekha’s wish to see me and Ram together on screen. He gave it a thought and somehow managed RRR dates with Siva’s Acharya. That is how Acharya was completed,” the actor stated.
Concluding his speech, the 66-year-old also addressed how Acharya will break the ‘myth’ that actors, who have experienced thunderous win at the box office with a SS Rajamouli film, have failed miserably in their next release.
“A lot of people have always spoken about how every actor who has had a thunderous hit with SS Rajamouli has faced a flop in their next. Let me tell you, it is just a myth, not a fact. And Acharya will prove that,” he concluded.