Shooting for a film as visually stunning and complex at the same time as the recently released RRR can be nothing short of a challenge. Talking about two such scenes loaded with animals created through VFX, Jr. NTR spoke about how he kept it authentic and the role director SS Rajamouli, a perfectionist, played in the action-packed sequences.
Anupama Chopra: Let’s talk about your introduction scene and that pre-interval scene. There’s a shot of you with the tiger and all of you landing. How did you shoot that? Of course, the animals are all digital. Was it green screen? What was it like?
Jr. NTR: The animals were VFX. But I really had one animal that chased me all throughout – Rajamouli (laughs). You can see me running because Rajamouli was running behind me, saying, “Faster!” There’s this making video where he keeps saying “Go, go, go, go, go!” – and that’s that’s how he was. He is unapologetic to his actors also. We shot for the interval sequence for 65 nights. This man was making me run in the forests of Bulgaria for 12 days in a row. And he was telling me, “You know how fast a tiger runs? You know what’s the stride length of a tiger? It is triple or quadruple the human stride. So imagine how fast you should run.”
That’s why I keep saying that throughout my career till now, I think I was prepping for RRR and for all these things to just come and hit the audiences. It was fabulous shooting for both the sequences because I didn’t know how the end result was going to be. Rajamouli didn’t show us the movie till it got released in theaters. So, I watched it a few hours before the premieres started in North America. I was just a few hours ahead of North America.
AC: Did you get mad? Did you not just tell him, ‘Listen, I’ve worked for years on this. Show it to me’?
Jr. NTR: Do you think he’s going to even pay attention to what I said? He’s Rajamouli, he will stick to what his belief is. He’s a maverick director, and I think he needs to be mad enough to achieve what he’s achieved today, and believe in what he believes in.