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Have nurtured this story for over a decade: Chiranjeevi on Syeraa Narasimha Reddy

The Telugu superstar joined Vijay Sethupathi, Kiccha Sudeep, Ravi Kishan, Tamannaah Bhatia, Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani at the launch of the film's teaser in Mumbai.

Shriram Iyengar

The teaser launch of Surender Reddy's Syeraa Narasimha Reddy (2019) saw a galaxy of stars from the Kannada, Telugu and Tamil film industries come together in Mumbai. Chiranjeevi, Vijay Sethupathi, Kiccha Sudeep, Tamannaah Bhatia and Ravi Kishan were among the actors from the film who joined producers Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani to promote the upcoming multi-lingual period epic.

Speaking at the teaser launch, Chiranjeevi revealed, "This [Syeraa Narasimha Reddy] is a story that I have kept with me for a decade and half. But I did not have the budget to make a film like this. So when Ram Charan decided to take it up and produce the project, I thought it will be the right film to connect me back with Hindi cinema."

Based on the story of Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy, the first Telugu chieftain to revolt against the British East India Company, Syeraa Narasimha Reddy will be released in theatres on 2 October 2019. 

Produced by Ram Charan Teja, son of Chiranjeevi, the film is also backed by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani's Excel Entertainment. The multi-lingual film is the second major feature headlined by a Telugu star picked up by Excel Entertainment after the success of the Kannada blockbuster KGF (2018). 

Speaking about the film, Ritesh Sidhwani said, "Firstly, the content. When Charan and Anil [leading distributor Anil Thadani] spoke to us about the film. I saw the teaser and the story of an unsung hero in the 19th century. I really liked what I saw. I was completely in love with it. It was a film we should do. It was actually the other way round, we were hoping they would approach us for the film." 

With its vast ensemble cast, the film will be released in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi. Chiranjeevi said, "We have asked Mohanlal to do the voiceover in Malayalam. There is an introductory portion in the film, which will be voiced by him in the Malayalam edition of the film. In Tamil, we have asked Kamal Haasan to do the voiceover. In Telugu, my brother Pawan Kalyan will take on the role."

The collaboration among these superstars from different leagues was a factor for many of the members of the cast. Ravi Kishan, now an MP from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, said, "These are schools of acting. They have been acting and doing stunts from the time when there were no safety standards. They would fall on boards and beds and get hurt. Now, we have so many comforts. That I got a chance to stand behind them with a sword and utter a few words, that alone is moksha for me."

While he has been away from Hindi cinema for a while, actor-producer Ram Charan said, "My role in this film is only that of a producer. It had been my father's lifelong dream and it was an opportunity for me to bring it together."

The actor added that it has not been a conscious choice on his part to stay away from Hindi cinema. "It was probably because the right content has not come. But we have just finished shooting for [Baahubali director SS] Rajamouli sir's next, RRR. Hopefully, that will mark my return to Hindi cinema." 

Kannada actor Sudeep was full of praise for Ram Charan, saying, "One hopes one has a son like Ram Charan who takes his father's dream and brings it to life this way. It is lovely to be called [to help]. Yeah, we all have our own platforms, but setting that aside and coming here, doing something because somebody needs you, being submissive to their dream is much more fulfilling than anything we dream ourselves." 

The actor, who is also part of the upcoming Salman Khan-starrer Dabanng 3, added," Same goes for Dabanng 3 (2019). So, it is beautiful that you are wanted everywhere." 

Tamannaah Bhatia, whose last period epic Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017) toppled all box-office records in the country, said, "It has been my fortune to be part of two major epics, first Baahubali and now, Syeraa. It was really wonderful to have worked with these legends in the industry." 

The quietest among the guests on the podium was, perhaps, Vijay Sethupathi. The star Tamil actor is reportedly in talks for Aamir Khan's Lal Singh Chadha (2020), but he did not reveal any details. On being asked if he is planning to come into Hindi cinema, he said, "I am in talks for one film, but nothing is sure. So for now, the answer is no."