Baahubali: Sathyaraj Kattappa becomes the first Tamil actor to get a wax statue at Madame Tussauds in London
Veteran actor Sathyaraj Kattappa is all set to become the first Tamil actor to get featured at the prestigious Madame Tussauds in London. His son Sibiraj took to Twitter to share the news. Soon social media was flooded with congratulatory messages from members of the Tamil film industry and Sathyaraj’s fans.
Following the success of the Baahubali franchise, Prabhas became the first actor from Tollywood to get a statue at the famous wax museum. Despite being a significant force in the Tamil film industry for over three decades, Sathyaraj became a household name worldwide after he played the iconic Kattappa in the epic series Baahubali directed by SS Rajamouli, which had Prabhas, Rana Daggubati and Ramya Krishnan in the lead roles.
Till date, Sathyaraj is the only Kollywood star to feature at Madame Tussauds. Actors like MGR, who is a cultural icon in Tamil Nadu, Sivaji Ganesan, whose films made it to Southeast Asian Film Festival back in those days, Rajinikanth, who has a expanding global market for Indian cinema, or Kamal Haasan, whose films have made it to Oscars, have still not featured in Madame Tussauds.
In the film, Kattappa is the head of the slave warriors of the kingdom of Mahishmati, who vows to protect the country and will go to any extent to keep his word. The first instalment of Baahubali unlocked a new chapter in the South Indian film industry in 2015 when it ended on one big question – ‘Why did Kattappa kill Baahubali?’ The line went viral and went on to take a legendary status in the pop culture references worldwide for nearly two years. A major chunk of credit for the success of Baahubali duology also goes to Sathyaraj without any doubt.
Sathyaraj has acted in over 200 movies in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi in his acting career spanning four decades. He made his acting debut as a character artist in Kamal Haasan's 1978 Tamil movie Sattam En Kaiyil. Initially, Sathyaraj played character roles including the ones with grey shades, in more than 70 movies until he turned hero for director Santhana Bharathi's 1987 movie Kadamai Kanniyam Kattuppadu. Incidentally, that movie was also produced by Kamal Haasan. Sathyaraj has also featured in a Bollywood movie, that too with superstar Shah Rukh Khan. He essayed Durgeshwara Azhagusundaram aka Deepika Padukone’s father in Rohit Shetty’s Chennai Express which released in 2013.
The Puratchi Tamizhan, as he is fondly known as, is currently doing NOTA with Vijay Devarakonda. Sathyaraj will also be next seen in Venkat Prabhu's Party and a Malayalam epic film titled Kaaliyan. Besides, he also has Kadaikutty Singam, Echarikai Idhu Manithargal Nadamadum Idam and Cinema Nadiganum Arasiyalvaadhiyum in his kitty.
Meanwhile, Sathyaraj was recently in the news when he spoke against the vandals of the Periyar statue in Tamil Nadu. The actor had said, "I condemn the demolition of Lenin's statue in Tripura. The Tamil Nadu government should take action against H Raja for stating the Periyar's statues would meet the same fate. Periyar is not a statue, not a name, not a body made of flesh and blood. He is an ideology, created for the poor, for the women's freedom and for abolishing superstitious belief. He does not just live like a statue, he lives in our hearts. I want to tell you that neither the power nor an army can remove Periyar from our hearts. Tell me the time and date, the followers of Periyar are willing to accept your challenge. H Raja must apologize, the Tamil Nadu government must take legal action against him."