RRR director SS Rajamouli revealed that the whole cast and crew were taken by surprise after witnessing Jr NTR's athleticism, giving the professional stunt experts a run for their money.
Filmmaker SS Rajamouli is now in Los Angeles promoting his latest blockbuster RRR as it has been nominated for an Oscar award. He took a few questions from the fans of the movie in a session recently organised by the Hollywood Critics Association. Rajamouli was accompanied by his cousin and the film's composer MM Keeravani.
Rajamouli shared a lot of interesting things that happened while making this movie, whose production went on for two years. And he said RRR had some of his favourite performances from his filmography.
"I'm lucky to get my principal actors — Ram Charan and Jr NTR . They both are very good actors, and dancers, they do all the stunts for themselves. I hardly used body doubles for 3 or 4 shots maximum. Rest every shot was performed by them. They are very good and very committed. Even if it's a small role, Alia (Bhatt), who plays Sita, has a beautiful expression. All the cast were fantastic in their performances. Of all the 12 films I have done so far, I think the best performances I have had is from RRR," he said.
Rajamouli also heaped praises on his cinematographer K. K. Senthil Kumar. "This is my eighth film with him. We have a great understanding of how to deal with this stuff," he added.
The director recounted an interesting anecdote that shattered his illusion that actors are not as strong as the stunt guys. He noted that the whole cast and crew were taken by surprise after witnessing Jr NTR's athleticism, giving the professional stunt experts a run for their money.
"When Bheem was running in the jungle, the camera was parallelly going through. There was no way we could put a vehicle. A parkour artist was holding the camera and running. Initially, we tested it with a fighter. The fighters are obviously agile and quite faster. The parkour artist thought if I can run keep up with the stunt guys, I can definitely run along with the actor. Because usually, the actors are not as strong as the stunt guys," he said.
"In one rehearsal, the way NTR ran, the camera had to pan and catch him from behind. I remember the expression on that guy's face. He said, 'ok, I got to put back my running shoes on.' He had to really, really run fast to catch up with him," he added.
NTR went through a rigorous diet and fitness routine under the guidance of celebrity fitness trainer Lloyd Stevens. NTR's physical transformation gave serious fitness goals to his fans when the trailer of RRR first came out.
RRR was re-released in cinemas across the US on March 3. The movie's Naatu Naatu song has secured an Oscar nomination in the Best Orginal Category.