Casting Jr NTR and Ram Charan as Bheem and Ram, respectively, in SS Rajamouli’s RRR (2022) was a masterstroke. The director wanted to cast two of the most famous actors in the South, and they both wanted to be a part of the picture. Ram said in an interview that one of the reasons he wanted to direct the feature film was to help end the “bad publicity” between the two film dynasties from which the performers came.
The actor Jr. NTR follows in the footsteps of his father, Nandamuri Harikrishna, and grandfather, NT Rama Rao. Meanwhile, both Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kalyan’s son Ram and Pawan Kalyan’s son Ram are actors. His extended family includes actors like Allu Arjun, Varun Tej, Sai Dharam Tej, Niharika Konidela, Allu Sirish, and Panja Vaisshnav Tej.
Ram spoke with American journalist David Poland for his YouTube series DP/30: Conversation About Hollywood, where they discussed Ram’s collaboration with Jr NTR and whether or not the two actors’ families were competitive with one another.
In his words:
“There is a sense of brotherhood and friendship, but there is also a healthy sense of competition. My family has seven actors, and when the party or festival is over, even my cousins and I start to compete. There is, of course, a sense of competition with NTR as well. In the movie business, our families have been known for 20–30 years as fierce rivals. My father and his grandfather… It was like our families were bitter foes…”
“For people in India, the most interesting part was that Rajamouli got these two friends from these families… We’ve been friends for about 15 years. There was also a lot of bad news about the two families. There’s only one way to go from there, and that’s to make a better bond. It couldn’t get worse for either family, so since we were both hearing that, we both decided to do something about it.”
Two honours were presented to RRR during Sunday night’s 28th Critics Choice Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. The film and its song, “Naatu Naatu,” won two Oscars. Even though the Oscar nominations won’t be revealed until January 24, the Indian film has maintained its momentum.