Rana Daggubati
Rana Daggubati with Akshay Kumar.Instagram

Rana Daggubati, the actor who made his Bollywood debut with "Dum Maaro Dum", has hits like "Baby" and "Baahubali" to his credit today. Now, his journey in both Tollywood and Bollywood runs parallell and equally fast.

There's no looking back for Rana, who now has several films like "Baahubali 2" (Baahubali: The Conclusion) and "Ghazi" in his kitty. But, even with his planner scheduled for next year-and-half, Rana has managed to take time off to associate himself with a worthy initiative along with CRY.

In an interview with IBTimes India, Rana Daggubati talks about his association with CRY Health Start, "Baahubali" sequel, dating rumours and future projects.

Here are excerpts from the interview –

You have teamed up with CRY's 'Healthy Start' to raise funds and support the initiative. Can you please tell us more about this initiative, your association and why you chose to support this cause?

CRY's 'Healthy Start' initiative provides access to proper healthcare and nutrition for children in their formative years, i.e. the first five years of a child's life. The idea was conceptualised by Vynvyn and I found it extremely appealing. I felt that this would be an ideal opportunity for me to create awareness about something so important.

Do you think having a popular face attached to a cause helps it draw attention?

People, I think are aware of the challenges faced by the underprivileged, but either they do not know how to help them or do not feel motivated enough to do so. I think a popular face tends to have a larger reach and hence helps in creating awareness in a better way. Celebrities through their social media can reach out to a lot more people in lesser time.

When you came on board for "Baahubali", did you ever think that it would become such a massive hit?

While filming the movie, we knew it would be big, but we never thought it would have such a huge impact. It has turned out to be one of the biggest movies in the country.

What do you think worked in the film's favour that it broke so many records and qualified as a cult film?

The content of the film is captivating and I feel that is what made the film a success.

"Baahubali 2" is halfway through. Can you give us a sneak-peek into the sequel?

"Baahubali 2" will be a visual feast. "Baahubali: The Conclusion" will have a lot more drama and will be more action-packed as compared to the first one. I'm sure it will draw more audience than its predecessor.

Was your journey from Tollywood to Bollywood smooth? Can you compare the two industries?

My journey from Telugu to Hindi has not been exceptionally smooth. It has, however, been a big learning for me and it has made me realise that I cannot be everywhere at once. I am now focusing on content that can travel across languages and on doing good projects rather than sticking to a single language.

Every actor wishes to experiment and do something extraordinary. Do you have a dream project or a role you would love to do?

Playing a negative role is every actor's dream. Whenever I read Ramayana or Mahabharatha, I was always attracted to the negative characters.

I'd love to play Hanuman. He's the greatest character from Indian mythology. And if I have to talk about my western dreams, then I would pick the comic book superhero, Phantom. They are both known for their strength and loyalty -- qualities that I admire.

What's on Rana's mind when he is signing projects or picking roles?

The story should be appealing and something that I would like to narrate. I also consider the freshness in the plot or backdrop of the film. And something that I always ask myself is "if this is a character that I want to portray."

Link-ups and relationship rumours: the most-talked about link-up in your case was with Bipasha Basu. Did it ever bother you or put you off when people spoke about just that?

Rumours are just rumours. They always die down on their own and are of interest only for a few days or weeks, before something else becomes interesting. These do not really bother me as I don't pay much attention to them.

We read that Rana is a busy man for the next year-and-half. There is a huge buzz about your own production (trilingual) and "Ghazi". Can you please tell us more about that?

I am currently waiting for the release of the Tamil remake of "Bangalore Days", in which I reprise the role of Fahadh Fazil, and "Rudramadevi" with Anushka Shetty. There's also "Ghazi", where I play a Naval officer. The film is based on a true story, revolving around Pakistani Navy's flagship submarine Ghazi. The film will be released in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

Apart from these, Akshay Kumar and I are working together to produce a Telugu feature film, "Poster Boyz."

To view Rana Dugabatti's association and work as part of CRY Health Start, visit www.vynvyn.com/Rana. And to know more about the initiative, visit www.vynvyn.com