Any idea as to who were original choices to star in Baahubali?

Many stars across the country, who were reportedly the ‘first choices’ of Tollywood’s show-man S.S. Rajamouli to star in his prequel Baahubali and the sequel Baahubali 2, are now ruing their decision to turn down those offers as both the prequel and now the sequel have become important landmarks in the history of Indian films!

With Prabhas, Ramya Krishnan, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty and Tamannaah in lead roles, sequel Baahubali 2 released in theatres worldwide on 28th April.

According to trade experts, it has already grossed an unprecedented sum of Rs.1,000 crores at theatres and has been going very strong in all the centres. Rajamouli’s magnum opus has thus set a new bench-mark to Indian films to be releasing in future.

At a time when many stars are repenting the fact that they had not been lucky enough to have been part of the prequel/sequel, let’s now take a look at actors/actresses who refused which role when the film’s prequel hadn’t got to the floors:

• Bollywood’s Hrithik Roshan was Rajamouli’s first-choice to play Amarendra Baahubali in the film; Prabhas was signed up only after he turned down the offer citing call-sheet dates;

• Model-turned-Bollywood actor John Abraham was first approached to play Ballala Thevan in the film(s); it was only after his refusal that Rajamouli turned to Rana Daggubat who ultimately turned out to be just the perfect choice to play the antagonist’s role;

• Nayantara, ‘queen bee’ of Kollywood, was Rajamouli’s initial choice to play Devasena; after Nayan politely said ‘no’ citing her busy call-sheet schedules, the role fell on Anushka Shetty’s lap who lapped it up like a hungry man would eat an apple;

• Sridevi, former ‘queen bee’ of Bollywood, was in Rajamouli’s mind (when he penned the script) to play ‘Rajamata Sivagami’ in the film; after the 50-odd years old still good-looking actress turned down the offer, it went to Neelambari Ramya Krishnan who found a new lease of life as an actress thanks to this particular role; and

• Bollywood’s Sonam Kapoor was initially approached to play warrior princess Avantika’s character in the film; for some reasons, Sonam hesitated and as a result, ‘milky beauty’ Tamannaah stepped into the role and as they say, the ‘rest was history’!

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