Tamil Superstar Rajinikanth, better known as Thalaiva, has appealed for water conservation on a war footing as he marks his TV debut after 43 years of cinema via Discovery channel’s ‘Into The Wild with Bear Grylls’ programme on Wednesday. “This war (water conserving) has to be led at all levels including government, community as well as on the individual front. I believe this show on Discovery is a perfect platform to take the message of conserving water to every home across the country,” said the Thalaiva in a statement. Rajinikanth said every Indian needs to come forward and contribute to water conservation. On Tuesday, Rajinikanth made television acting debut on Discovery channel’s new format series ‘Into The Wild with Bear Grylls’, after 43 years of cinema, Discovery said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I agreed to finally make my debut on TV after more than four decades of cinema,” said Rajinikanth about shooting for ‘Into The Wild’ with Bear Grylls. On Tuesday, the 69-year-old Southern superstar shot for the programme in Karnataka’s Bandipur Tiger Reserve. Bandipur Tiger Reserve, an 874 sq km national park, was formed by integrating most of the forest areas of erstwhile Venugopala Wildlife Park established in 1941, and later enlarged to its current state in Chamarajanagar district, about 220 km southwest of Bengaluru.
The tiger reserve lists 28 species of mammals to be thriving in the forest, including royal Bengal tiger, Asian elephant, common leopard, bonnet macaque, Indian pipistrelle and barking deer, among others. In August 2019, Grylls had hosted Prime Minister Modi in the Man vs Wild show, which was shot at the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand in February 2019. Other international icons who featured in the highly popular show include United States President Donald Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, Titanic star Kate Winslet, Tennis virtuoso Roger Federer and Hollywood great Julia Roberts and others.
“Into The Wild is a truly unique show, at one level it offers adrenaline pumping action, while at another, the show lends itself beautifully to driving a specific purpose for the larger good of society,” said Rajinikanth. The Southern star said he readily accepted to act in the new series when officials from Discovery channel approached him, finally marking his TV debut. Kavithalayaa, a production house founded by Rajinikanth’s guru K. Balachander also played a significant role, he said. “Bear Grylls has tested the survival skills of multiple celebrity guests, pushing them to their limits; I look forward to the survival challenge in the mesmerizing wilderness of India,” said Rajinikanth about the popular host who showcases survival strategies in extreme challenging conditions in the most remote locations around the world.
Also focusing on water conservation in the new programme, Megha Tata, managing director, Discovery, South Asia said the channel wanted to add a layer of purpose with each episode of the newly commissioned series ‘Into The Wild with Bear Grylls’.
“Last year, the show featuring Modi, generated much desired attention on conservation of wildlife; we are confident that the forthcoming episode featuring Rajinikanth will sensitize each one of us about conservation of water,” Tata said.
Bear even posted a pictures on his Twitter with Rajinikanth and wrote, “After our episode with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India helped create a bit of TV history, (3.6 billion impressions), superstar Rajinikanth joins me next, as he makes his TV debut on our new show #IntoTheWildWithBearGrylls on DiscoveryIN. #ThalaivaOnDiscovery.”
Grylls heaped praise on Rajinikanth, saying that the actor is a phenomenon who has captivated audiences across the world with his work both on screen and off screen.
“Our team is all very excited to work closely with Thalaiva! He has always shown such energy and flair in all he does and he will need that courage and determination again on our journey into the beautiful wild of India,” said Grylls, throwing the challenge to the veteran actor.