South superstar Rana Daggubati will be next seen as Bandev in Prabu Solomon’s Haathi Mere Saathi, which releases in theatres on March 26. In an interview recently, he opened up on his various battle with death, the film and much more. He defines his working experience in the film as spiritual learning and healing.
In the conversation, Rana also opened up how he transformed from being Baahubali’s Bhalladeva to Haathi Mere Saathi’s Bandev. “When Prabu sir came to me with Haathi Mere Saathi, I was out of Baahubali, three times my size. I was playing the king of Mahishmati. So, of course, the look was different. We did one look test back then but Prabu sir was clear that it was not the way I needed to look. He was very definitive of how Bandev was. Then he started designing my look as per the jungle.”
“He kept a couple of exercises for me when I reached Thailand. The first 10 days, I spent understanding who Bandev was, in terms of the way he walks, the way he spoke, his relationship with the wild. The first schedule of the film was for 25 days, during which I worked only with nature and the wilds. During that period, I didn’t have a co-star. So, those days set the tone of the character for me. So, I would say a week of workshop and around 25-30 days of the shoot made me Bandev,” the actor said in the conversation with Indian Express.
For the shooting, the cast was in the jungle to shoot a large portion of the film. And Rana had a great time shooting for it. He adds, “Even if you spend a week in the jungle and come back, you have a different mindset. You are calmer and peaceful. Once we were in the jungle without our phones, our thought process was to connect and delve into the character. For us, being connected to the character was very important. Yes, I have a lot going on in the real world. But the wild and the adventure was bliss.” Unfortunately, the shooting period of Haathi Mere Saathi was also the time when Rana was unwell and had to take a break. On Samantha Akkineni’s talk show Sam Jam, Rana opened up on about the time he was diagnosed with heart complications and kidney failure. Talking about his comeback, Rana said, “My films taught me to overcome the problems and rise as a hero. I am happy and thankful that Prabu sir waited that time and gave me time to heal. Also, the jungle became a big part of my healing.” When asked what gave him the power to get back on the sets right after dealing with his downtime, the actor said, “That’s the fun about reel world.
Rana Dugapatti is one of the most famous actors in Southern and Hindi films. The actor got married to Miheeka Bajaj in 2020 amid the Coronavirus Pandemic in a private ceremony.