The much-delayed Kannada web series, produced by Shivarajkumar’s Shri Mutthu Cine Creations and Sakkath Studio, is coming to Talkies
Hate U Romeo was the first subject that came to actor Aravinnd Iyer shortly after he did Bheemasena Nala Maharaja. This was a time when OTT platforms still did not have a firm foothold in the Indian market and Kannada content barely had any takers. “Hate U Romeo seemed like a bold experiment. The idea was to try and open up the market and that’s how it was greenlit by the makers,” says Aravindd, who plays Dev, a supermodel on the show.
“When I heard the script of Hate U Romeo, I felt that the character of Dev is in complete contrast to what I did in Bheemasena Nala Maharaja with Lathesha, and that it would be exciting to take up this project. Dev’s character is quite caricaturish in this show, which was a challenge, because it was tough to find that balance. Also, Dev was meant to be supermodel, and at the time, I was still hefty like Lathesha. We shot one sequence, which is seen in the trailer too, while I still had all the weight on me, and then I asked the team for six weeks to get into shape. I went on a strict diet and woke up every day at 4.30 am to work out for a couple of hours and was ready in time for our schedule in Vietnam,” says Aravind.
The team shot in Vietnam for 25 days and canned 72 scenes, which meant that they were working almost round the clock. “Vietnam is quite hot and to make matters worse, peak sunlight happens as early as 6 am, so, shooting in such an environment for such long hours was taxing. I blacked out twice during the schedule in Vietnam owing to the heat,” says Aravinnd.
But his biggest challenge was finding food. “I am a pure vegetarian and to top it, I was on a strict diet for the role, so finding the right elements was tough. There were two Indian restaurants in the vicinity of where we were shooting, so the production team would somehow manage to get me food. But it was a struggle,” adds the actor, who is hopeful that audiences will see the difference between Lathesha and Dev and like it. “Hate U Romeo is a revenge comedy, which I am quite excited about. I know it’s coming out almost five years after we shot for it, but better late than never,” says Aravinnd.
Meanwhile, up next, the actor is looking forward to the release of his film with director Arvind Sastry. “This is a reunion of the Kahi team, in a way, including Arvind, music director Midhun Mukundan and me. The film, the title of which will be announced shortly, also stars Siri Ravikumar and Gopalkrishna Deshpande. I am also doing a cameo in Pannaga Bharana’s next production starring Meghana Raj Sarja. I have also been writing scripts and am looking at pitching it to prospective producers. Hopefully, I will be able to make my own content soon enough,” he signs off.
All seven episodes of Hate U Romeo will be available to stream on the Kannada streaming platform Talkies, starting November 5, 2022.