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All about Prabhu Deva

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A COOL combination of dance, choreography, acting, and filmmaking has given Prabhu Deva one of the most multifaceted cinema careers.

This has resulted in stunning songs, hit films, and winning performances from the multi-talented performer in a variety of languages. The popular film star turns a year older on April 3 and celebrates his 51st birthday.

Eastern Eye decided to mark the occasion by taking a deep dive into his life and career with an informative A to Z.

A is for AR Rahman: Prabhu Deva is most known for his incredible dancing ability and arguably the greatest songs filmed on him have been composed by the musical genius, AR Rahman.

They became a dream team that created magic on screen, starting with the mega-hit songs Urvasi Urvasi and Mukkala Mukkabla from Kadhalan (1994). They helped each other become huge stars with many subsequent hits.

B is for Beginning: Prabhu Deva was inspired by his choreographer father (see F) to learn dancing from a young age, including classical Indian and western contemporary. He first broke into the scene as a background dancer in Tamil films such as Jeeva and Agni Natchathiram – both released in 1988.

C is for Choreographer: He followed in his father’s footsteps to become a fulltime choreographer, starting with Tamil film Vetri Vizha (1989).

He has won awards for choreography in films such as Rakshana (1993), Minsara Kanavu (1997), Lakshya (2004), Varsham (2004), Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana (2005) and Maari 2 (2018).

Wanted

D is for Director: After a successful career as a choreographer and actor, the multi-talented star made the move to directing with successful Telugu film Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana (2005).

Hit films he has directed since then include Pokkiri (2007), Shankar Dada Zindabad (2007), Wanted (2009) and Rowdy Rathore (2012).

E is Excellence: Ke Sera Sera from Pukar (2000) brought together Bollywood’s legendary dancer Madhuri Dixit and South Indian cinema’s finest, Prabhu Deva, making it one of the most remarkable Indian film songs.

The impeccably choreographed sequence continues to stand as a defining moment in Bollywood dance history.

 F is for Family: Prabhu Deva’s father is the famous dance choreographer Mugur Sundar. His brothers Raju Sundaram and Nagendra Prasad are renowned choreographers and actors.

Pukar

G is for Germany: Michael Jackson held two huge global charity stadium concerts in 1999 and invited major music stars from around the world to join him.

The first one took place in Seoul, South Korea. For the second one in Munich, Germany, Prabhu Deva was invited to perform, along with actress Shobhana and music maestro Rahman. It was fitting as Deva has always been nicknamed as the Indian Michael Jackson.

H is for H2O: He made his Kannada language debut as an actor with successful film H20 (2002), playing a supporting role to hero Upendra.

I is for Indhu: After series of cameo appearances in Tamil film songs, Prabhu Deva landed his first lead role in romantic drama Indhu (1994).

J is for Jokes: Apart from dancing, Prabhu Deva has always had a great flair for comedy throughout his career.

His 2002 Tamil comedy Charlie Chaplin was remade in several languages, including in Telugu (Pellam Oorelithe), Hindi (No Entry), Malayalam (Happy Husbands), Kannada (Kalla Malla Sulla), Marathi (No Entry Pudhe Dhoka Aahey) and Bengali (Kelor Kirti).

Kadhalan

He also starred in the film’s ‘spiritual’ sequel Charlie Chaplin 2 (2019).

K is for Kadhalan: The actor scored his first hit as a leading man with his second movie release Kadhalan (1994), which won multiple awards and became the highest grossing Tamil film of that year.

Prabhu Deva’s dance and choreography were widely appreciated, with the songs Mukkabla and Urvasi Urvasi becoming huge hits. The movie was successfully dubbed in Telugu and Hindi.

L is for Love Story 1999: After acting exclusively in Tamil films, the actor made his Telugu language debut with romantic comedy Love Story 1999 (1998).

M is for Minsara Kanavu: Prabhu Deva played the lead role in Tamil-language blockbuster Minsara Kanavu (1997), opposite Arvind Swamy and Kajol. The romantic drama won multiple honours, including a National Film Award for choreography. The dubbed version was released in Hindi as Sapnay.

Minsara Kanavu

N is for No Problem: He performed the song No Problem from the movie Love Birds (1996), with Apache Indian.

O is for Other talents: Most know Prabhu Deva as a choreographer, actor and filmmaker, but he has also written the lyrics for the 2019 songs Ivala Ivala from Charlie Chaplin 2 and Sokkura Penne from Devi 2. He also sang the song Siva Siva Sankara from Suyamvaram (1999).

P is for Producer: Prabhu Deva has produced the films Devi (2016), Bogan (2017) and Sometimes (2018).

Q is for Quick: He was part of the ensemble cast in Tamil language comedy drama Suyamvaram (1999), which entered the Guinness Book of World Records for being the quickest ever featurelength film made.

Devi 2

The film was completed in 23 hours and 58 minutes. It brought together 14 major directors, 19 cinematographers and over 30 leading actors from the Tamil film industry.

 R is for Remake: Prabhu Deva remade his Telugu language directorial debut Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana (2005) in Hindi as Ramaiya Vastavaiya (2013).

He directed Bollywood film Rowdy Rathore (2012) – a remake of 2006 Telugu action drama Vikramarkudu.

His directorial outing Shankar Dada Zindabad (2007) was the Telugu remake of Bollywood film Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006). He also directed the remake of Telugu film Pokiri (2006) in Tamil (Pokkiri) in 2007 and Hindi (Wanted) in 2009.

S is for Sequels: He reprised his role in ABCD 2 (2015) – the Bollywood sequel to ABCD (2013). The 2019 sequel to his Tamil movie Devi (2016) was shot in multiple languages, and simultaneously released in Tamil (Devi 2), Telugu (Abhinetri 2) and Hindi (Khamoshi).

T is for Tragedy: He had three children with his first wife Ramlath (see W), who later changed her name to Latha. However, his eldest son died of cancer in 2008, aged 13.

U is for Urumi: Prabhu Deva made his Malayalam language acting debut with Urumi in 2011.

Urumi

The period drama won awards, including best film and best director at the Imagine India Film Festival in Barcelona.

V is for V.I.P: The actor’s hit romantic comedy V.I.P was described as the feel good movie of 1997. It was also seen as a coming of age for him as an actor.

W is for Wedding: Prabhu Deva married Ramlath in 1995, but they had an acrimonious divorce in 2011. Later, he married Himani Singh in 2020.

X is for X Factor: Prabhu Deva will always be most associated with his amazing dancing ability. His flawless timing and mastery of movement have seamlessly transcended into his roles as an actor, director, and choreographer.

Y is for Youngster: Growing up, he was massively influenced by his choreographer father and would accompany him to film sets. This led towards him getting his first screen appearance playing a flute in the song Panivizhum Iravu from the Tamil film Mouna Ragam (1986).

Z is for Zodiac: Prabhu Deva’s star sign is Aries. Strong traits associated with Aries include, independence, intelligence, adventure, courage, confidence and high energy. He has used these qualities to become a successful film star.

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