Style and swagger are two traits of a personality which should come naturally to an actor or actress. Bollywood is sometimes criticised for its actors having style, but not substance.
An oft quoted example of this factor is the Bollywood star Salman Khan, who reinvented his career with remakes of South hits like Pokiri, Ready, Kick and Bodyguard.
The debate about whether a South male actor can break through the great Bollywood wall in garnering both the North Indian audience’s pulse and the Hindi producers’ approbation has been in contention for quite some time.
As the North Indian media is going gaga over the absolute swag and panache Prabhas showed in the Bad Boy song, the debate is now wide open whether Prabhas is the Southern answer to the Khans’ fading dominance in the Hindi belt.
With the 50 plus aging Khans of Bollywood, namely, Aamir, Salman and Shah Rukh and their counterpart Hrithik Roshan, suffering both personal and professional vagaries of late, Prabhas has the ‘it’ factor to become the next superstar. Not that he is not one now, but he can capture the Hindi market quite diligently if he plans his next films on a national level.
Prabhas, a smart entrepreneur, is doing just that now. The fact Saaho was shot in Hindi and Telugu primarily proves he is ready for the big leap.
Let us see some behavioral changes in Prabhas’ public relations, post Bahubali, in making himself a star with substance.
- Prabhas and his performances
Prabhas is a well known personality by the public of North India, with the dubbed versions of most of his Telugu films like Rebel, Yogi, Varsham, Mr. Perfect and to top it all, the monstrous hit Mirchi, which is still a record on YouTube in its Hindi dubbed version. Prabhas learning his lines in Hindi for Saaho, coupled with his strong performances in these films which also brought out the actor in him, make him a big contender for the next big star in India.
Salman Khan, most of the cinegoers in the North belt aver , lacks the basic performance skills and mostly he is stoic and clueless in depicting tender feelings and expressions. Hence, Prabhas can easily fill the lacunae created by ‘only abs, no action’ type model of Salman Khan.
- Prabhas and his lack of starry airs
Prabhas, like many other South Indian star, lacks the starry airs and ‘patronising’ attitude of most of the Bollywood stars. This fact was time and again proved in his interactions with media persons in any city, be it Chennai, Mumbai or his home turf, Hyderabad. He is already a darling with the masses and addresses his fans as ‘darlings.’ His heartfelt smile endeared him much more to the masses. With an already created base with the Mumbai media, the sky is the limit for Prabhas to literally conquer the North and get himself coronated as the King.
- Prabhas and his friends
The home production house of Prabhas, UV Creations, is strategising the events related to Saaho with utmost clarity in mounting the movie and Prabhas as a great celebrity ‘who is here to stay.’ The Mumbai producers Anil Thadani and others are now an integral part of the Prabhas promotion bandwagon. With the support of Bollywood biggies like T-Series and other companies, Prabhas will be now known from a remote village in Bihar to a posh locality like Mussoorie, where his films have a lot of mass appeal.
- Prabhas and the base created by Bahubali
The base Bahubali created for Prabhas as a pan Indian icon was tremendous. The movie series by S.S. Rajamouli set the stage for brand Prabhas to soar to dizzy heights. Prabhas’ wax statue at Madame Tussauds further gave testimony to his burgeoning fanbase in South East Asia.
With his legion of fans thronging to his Hyderabad house and taking selfies, to his movies being dubbed into Japanese, Mandarin and German, Prabhas truly deserves the place he earned in the pantheon of great entertainers, along the same lines of Salman Khan or Shah Rukh Khan. With the aforementioned Bollywood stars’ in the penultimate period of their careers, there is more scope for Prabhas to cash in on the opportunity.
So, we should be seeing Prabhas soon in a brand new makeover as a global icon, spreading his arms to the whole of Europe and Middle East with Saaho.