'It's exciting to be an actor'

Promising role

'It's exciting to  be an actor'

Actor Rana Daggubati’s latest release, ‘The Ghazi Attack’, stands out for its originality and gripping narrative.

It’s not just the unique script and subject line that got Rana to sign on the dotted line but also the fact that the film is directed by his close friend  Sankalp Reddy.

The two are deeply passionate about cinema and Rana says that they took more than a year to prepare the script for ‘The Ghazi Attack’ because they wanted the film to be more than just another film on war.

In an interview with Nina C George, Rana shares his experience of working on ‘The Ghazi Attack’.     

How did you come up with the idea of ‘The Ghazi Attack’?  

It was Sankalp Reddy who first broached the idea and decided to build a small submarine set on the rooftop of his house. We saw a story in that somewhere. We first got together a bunch of writers who understand the genre, especially since it has an Indo-Pak angle to it. We didn’t want to make the film in a hurry. It was a step-by-step effort. We were thrilled that we padded up the film with the right team.  

Could you tell us about the making of the movie?

While making ‘The Ghazi Attack’, we didn’t want to compromise on quality and were keen on spending all the money in getting the aesthetics of the film right. Everybody who was a part of the film was keen that the money be spent in making a product of the highest
standards. I think we’ve managed to achieve that. Every actor who was a part of the project, including Kay Kay Menon, Om Puri, Nasser, Atul Kulkarni and Taapsee Pannu, has worked very hard to make it much larger than what it set out
to be.

What was the most exciting part of the film? 

The idea of working in the film was in itself an exciting proposition. When I told my friends that I was working on a submarine-based war film, they wondered how I would manage to pull it off. But I was excited and confident about the end product.

Your memories of working with Om Puri...

I still can’t believe that he is no more. He was dubbing for the film just a few days before he passed away. He added tremendous value to the film and we are really blessed to have shared the last few moments with him.

Your thoughts on Amitabh Bachchan’s narration...

We needed a voiceover for the film and we couldn’t think of a person better than Amitabh Bachchan to lend the voice. The grandeur of his voice always brings life to any character. He finished the narration within a few hours and sent it back to us. He was extremely supportive.

You have undergone a tremendous physical transformation for this film. Tell us about it.  
I was shooting for ‘Baahubali...’ and ‘The Ghazi Attack’ almost simultaneously and I had to sport two different appearances. I had to sport a big build for ‘Baahubali...’ and shed almost 18 kg for ‘The Ghazi Attack’. I don’t think any actor has ever attempted anything like this before. It was my conviction that saw me through both projects.
 
Do you believe in stepping out of your comfort zone?

The excitement and joy that I derive when I put my heart and soul into a project gives me an altogether different kind of high.   

You seem to be working on a lot of war-based films this year...
2017 has been interesting because I’ve started the year by working in three war-based films. And I play very different characters in all the films. None of my characters are similar.  

How do you beat boredom?  
There’s no room for boredom and monotony in cinema because cinema always keeps you up and running. If I am shooting on one day, I am dubbing on another and again switch to promotions for yet another film. It’s exciting to be an actor.     

What kind of scripts interest you?

I work on films only if I am excited about the script and convinced with the character. I would like to explore the alternative spaces in cinema which I understand have a large
following.

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