By Kalash Khurana Last Updated:
There is no denying the fact that the Baahubali franchise made and broke many records at the box office. From eye-grabbing visual effects to an interesting storyline and power-packed performances of the actors, Baahubali had all the ingredients required for a film to be a blockbuster. Helmed by SS Rajamouli, the film made history with its popularity all over the country and lived up to the expectations of the audience.
SS Rajamouli's masterpiece, Baahubali wouldn't have made the same impact had actress, Ramya Krishnan not played the role of 'Sivagami Devi' in it. Ramya, who is known for her performances in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, and other language films, was not the first choice to play the role of 'Sivagami'. However, the actress aced her role, and she will always be remembered for the same. Ramya Krishnan reportedly charged about Rs. 2.5 crore for the role of 'Sivagami Devi'.
As per a report in the Hindustan Times, it was stated that Sridevi was the first choice for the role of 'Sivagami' before Ramya. However, she demanded a higher remuneration, which led to second thoughts in the minds of the makers and made them rethink their decision. If reports are to be believed, the contract could not be finalised because of Sridevi’s demands. Later, Rajamouli gave Ramya the role of the formidable queen and matriarch, 'Sivagami', in both Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali: The Conclusion.
After the release of the film, Baahubali: The Beginning, in an interview with ABN Telugu, SS Rajamouli shared that Sridevi asked for Rs. 10 crores in fees, a complete hotel floor for her family and crew, and ten tickets from Mumbai to Hyderabad. However, her wishes were above the makers' budget, and they got fed up with her high demands. So, they dropped the idea of casting Sridevi and instead approached Ramya. He said:
“After hearing a series of wishes from her (Sridevi), our team got fed up. We also thought that it would be above our budget to meet her demands. Then we approached Ramya Krishnan and she proved herself fantastic and we now feel, we were lucky that we dropped the idea of having Sridevi in our film."
Later, in a conversation with NDTV, Sridevi reacted to the reports about her high demands to essay the role of 'Sivagami' and offered a clarification on the controversy. She said that she gets hurt when she hears such things about herself and added that there must have been some kind of miscommunication. Sridevi further pointed out that Rajamouli shouldn't have talked about it on a public platform like this and added:
“But, when you hear such things about yourself, you really get hurt. I don’t know if the producer wrongly told Rajamouli that I made all these demands, or if there could have been some miscommunication. I think it is not in good taste to speak on a public platform like this."
The Baahubali franchise created one of the most significant milestones for Indian cinema, courtesy of its grandeur and fanfare. The films featured a stellar cast, including the likes of Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah Bhatia, Nasser, and Sathyaraj. Prabhas, who was a popular Telugu actor, gained recognition as a pan-Indian actor with his role in Baahubali. He became an overnight star in all over the country as soon as the first part of the film hit the screens in 2015.
Do you think Sridevi would have nailed the role of 'Shivgami' in the Baahubali franchise?