Thane, Nov 25 (PTI) Former autorickshaw driver Dhananjay Prabhune, a lookalike of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu who was spotted by director Ram Gopal Varma, says acting in Telugu films has changed his life.
Prabhune, who will be seen playing Chandrababu Naidu in Varma’s upcoming Telugu directorial, “Kamma Rajyamlo Kadapa Reddlu”, was honoured by the local rickshaw union on Sunday here.
Talking to the media, Prabhune praised the director and his crew for taking special care of him during the shooting of the film.
The people of Andhra were very kind and the food was tasty, he said, adding that he loved working in the Telugu film industry.
Prabhune said his life has transformed after getting the opportunity to act in the Telugu films.
Kalu Komatkar, president of the rickshaw union, said the auto drivers were proud that one of their fellowmen had found a place in the movies, that too in the south film industry.
“This is a great honour for us,” Komatkar added.
Dombivili-based Prabhune used to drive rickshaw in the township and later started a hotel in the temple town of Trimbakeshwar in Nashik district.
Last year, while in Trimbakeshwar, he shot to fame as Chandrababu Naidu lookalike after a tourist shared a video of Prabhune serving food on the social media. The post went viral and caught Varma's attention.
Varma, best known for films “Satya”, “Shiva”, “Kaun?” among others, sent out a tweet, asking people to help trace the man in the clip. The filmmaker even announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh to the one who found Prabhune.
Prabhune was tracked within hours. Varma was then making his Telugu-language film “Lakshmi’s NTR”, a biographical drama based on the life of former film actor and Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh, NT Rama Rao.
Though actor Sritej played Chandrababu Naidu in “Lakshmi’s NTR”, Varma cast Prabhune in “Kamma Rajyamlo Kadapa Reddlu” as the former CM.
'Kamma Rajyamlo Kadapa Reddlu”, based on the political developments in Andhra Pradesh, is slated to be released on November 29. PTI COR GK RDS RDS RDS