16th January 2023 (New Delhi): SS Rajamouli is the man of the moment as his period action extravaganza RRR featuring Ram Charan and Jr NTR has been winning laurels for India in Hollywood, including the Golden Globe award for Best Original Song to Naatu Naatu. However, an old video went viral recently for which the ace filmmaker was slammed and criticised.
The 2009 video, which resurfaced online, was from the audio and trailer launch of Prabhas’ film Billa in which Rajamouli compared the Telugu superstar with the Bollywood superstar Hrithik Roshan. “When Dhoom 2 released two years ago, I wondered why only Bollywood can make such quality films. Don’t we have heroes like Hrithik Roshan? I just saw the songs, poster, and trailer of Billa, and I can only say one thing. Hrithik Roshan is nothing in front of Prabhas”, he had said during the event.
The Magadheera director was asked about this old clip on the red carpet at the 2022 New York Film Critics Circle Awards, which happened in New York on January 4. Rajamouli, who was awarded the Best Director for RRR at the ceremony, clarified his past statement and stated, “It was long, long back, I think some 15-16 years back. But yeah, my choice of words wasn’t good, I must admit it. My intention was never to degrade him, I respect him a lot. It is long back.” Both clips were shared on the subreddit called ‘Bolly BlindsNGossip’ on the social networking platform Reddit and later, went viral.
After the 2009 event, Rajamouli directed Prabhas in the two Baahubali films, Baahubali: The Beginning in 2015 and Baahubali: The Conclusion in 2017. The sequel turned out to be the second highest-grossing Indian film at the box office behind Aamir Khan’s Dangal. His latest RRR is the fourth highest-grossing film worldwide behind the third-placed Yash’s KGF Chapter 2.