The Telugu audience are known for their star worship. Actors like NTR, Krishna, Chiranjeevi and Balakrishna were bestowed with a demi-god status by their fans, thanks to the mythological roles that were a hit with the moviebesotted public.
Taking a cue from his predecessors, NTR Jr, took up the mantle early in his career and churned out roaring hits like Aadhi and Simhadri to join the big league. “Initially, I was a bit apprehensive but gradually I could fit into those roles with ease,” say the actor who will be essaying an authorbacked role in big budget extravaganza Shakti. “Yes. NTR is playing a larger-than-life role but I can’t reveal much,” says producer Priyanka Dutt.
Now NTR Jr’s colleagues – Allu Arjun, Siddharth and Rana are set to go for the big catch. Famed lover boy Allu Arjun vouches for the transition in his career. “I have done enough of boy-nextdoor roles, so it’s high time I move on to another level. Larger-than-life roles are one good option since it offers bigger span and grandeur, besides reaching out to a wider section of the audience,” says the actor, who will appear in a new avatar in his upcoming film Badrinath. His buddy and colleague Ram Charan Tej is also giving the genre another shot with Merupu. “I am fortunate to get such a powerful role so quickly after Magadheera,” he said.
Onscreen lover boy Siddharth is also going for a complete revamp of his image with his upcoming untitled film. “Siddharth will be seen in a new avatar and will grab the audience attention as an endearing and lovable warrior,” says producer Devineni Prasad. Not to be left behind, even one-film old Rana is trying to dabble with a heroic role in his upcoming film with director Selvaraghavan and has hit the gym to get the right look to fit into the role of a valiant tribal lad. “It has a tribal backdrop and it will be a powerful star-centric film,” says thespian Ramanaidu.
Filmmaker Boyapati Srinu, who tasted success with Simha, justifies big stars donning heroic roles. “Audience and fans will have huge expectations, so we need to cater to them by designing roles that would befit the star’s established images,” he reasons.
Agreed that superstars make larger-than-life roles believable but most of the starcentric movies haven’t been able to spin BO magic. “Old wine in new bottle, seldom works. Besides an invincible protagonist, we need to pick a solid plot and give equal footage to the heroine and antagonist to make a well-knitted screenplay. It worked for me. I know that the industry is loaded in favour of hero-oriented roles but in the end, only a good story will grab audience attention,” says MS Raju, filmmaker who made superstars out of stars like Mahesh and Prabhas with Okkadu and Varsham.