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'Bimbisara' is meant for a theatrical watch: Kalyan Ram

Wednesday, August 3, 2022 • Telugu Comments
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The craze around 'Bimbisara' is gathering critical mass, with advance bookings looking very bright. On August 5, Nandamuri Kalyan Ram is going to witness the most important theatrical release of this career. He doesn't mince words when he says that 'Bimbisara' is not a costume drama like 'Baahubali'. "Don't expect big-spectacle war episodes in the movie," he adds, setting the expectations right.

Catch him talk about his makeover, juggling his career as an actor and a producer, Jr NTR's 30th project that he is producing, and more.

When did 'Bimbisara' take off?

It was in late 2018 when I was shooting for 'NTR: Mahanayakudu' (in which Kalyan Ram played his father, Nandamuri Harikrishna) that Vassishta pitched the idea. The film's genre, the time-travel dimension, and the fantasy tropes appealed to me instantly.

Your character has got grey shades in the movie. How did the characterization evolve?

When the director narrated the script for the first time, the negative shades were not evolved. As time passed by and the story was developed, new additions were made to enrich the character. The character acquired aggressive traits.

Whenever historicals or big-spectacle costume dramas are coming up, comparisons are invariably drawn with the 'Baahubali' movies. Are you mindful of the comparisons?

While 'Baahubali' was a landmark movie, 'Bimbisara' is a time-travel fantasy epic movie where war scenes are absent. As such, the comparisons have to be qualified.

Bimbisara is a physical role. What kind of preparation did you put in to play the role?

For 'Bimbisara', I had to shed oodles of weight without having to sacrifice food. My physical trainer doesn't restrict my diet. The best part of his training is that he asks me to take healthy food. I eat Idli and Dosa in the morning. I have Basmati rice in the afternoon. Whatever I eat, I do it in moderation. I don't eat oily foods, fried items, and sweets. I have a solid cheat meal once every fortnight. If I am not shooting for a movie, I find it impossible to stay away from cheat meals.

NTR30 was announced weeks ago. Jr NTR's fans are eagerly waiting for a big update. When are you going to give it?

It's a precious project for us. We can't afford to hurry through it. Tarak is under pressure to give the best. Let an update come when it is ready to come.

It's now a foregone conclusion that 'Bimbisara 2' is happening. What about 'Bimbasara 3' and 'Bimbisara 4'?

I can only confirm the second part, now that Vassishta has prepared its story. But I don't know whether there will be more parts in the franchise. But 'Bimbisara' has the potential to be expanded into a bona fide franchise.

You have been a producer. How has the journey been?

I am an actor who doesn't immerse myself in production aspects. Someone else does that. I can't juggle both acting and production at a time. I never did it even when films like 'Pataas' and 'ISM' were made.

Of late, a view is gaining the ground that audiences are not interested in the theatrical experience. Do you agree?

'Vikram' was a blockbuster. 'Major' was a big hit as well. They were not VFX-heavy movies by any stretch. The audience need to be convinced that your film is special. The trailer is the most important tool to make sure it happens. The audience are convinced that 'Bimbisara' has to be watched only in theatres.

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