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Rediff.com  » Movies » Rana: I shared a great rapport with Bipasha

Rana: I shared a great rapport with Bipasha

Last updated on: April 11, 2011 14:36 IST

Rana: I shared a great rapport with Bipasha

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

Telugu actor Rana Daggubati, who is all set to make his debut in Rohan Sippy's Dum Maaro Dum, has an illustrious lineage. He is the grandson of veteran producer D Rama Naidu (a Guinness Book Record holder for producing the maximum number of films and the Dada Saheb Phalke Award winner), the son of producer D Suresh Babu and the nephew of Telugu superstar Venkatesh.

A former entrepreneur who ran a visual special effects company and produced National Award winning feature film A Bellyful of Dreams in 2007, Rana turned actor last year with the Telugu film Leader, directed by National Award winner Sekhar Kammula.

The film also stars Abhishek Bachchan, Prateik and Bipasha Basu.

Rana chats with Radhika Rajamani, and talks about the film, his link-up with Bipasha, and much more.

Were you surprised when you were offered Dum Maaro Dum?

I was definitely surprised because after your first big Telugu film, you usually plan the next Telugu film or a bi-lingual (Tamil-Telugu) film. That's the focus because you live here (in Hyderabad) and that's what you do.

I had signed Dum Maaro Dum even before Leader released. When the promos of Leader started coming out in December, it created a buzz in Mumbai circles because of its political nature. Rohan saw the promos and he and Shridhar Raghavan (the writer) called me and told me they were sending the script to me.

When I got the script, I saw there were three characters. I didn't know who I was playing, so I called him back. He said it was Joachim. That's the best character! I liked it while reading it and said so. I flew down to Mumbai. I liked them and they liked me. It all happened very fast. Then the look test happened.


Image: A scene from Dum Maaro Dum

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'I was always been fond of multistarrers'

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What did you see in the script?

The story is set in Goa. Goa is classically called paradise on earth but the land has some snakes that spoil the paradise.

My character is Joachim (Joki) Fernandes, a Goan musician, who is very susegad (chilled) in Goan lingo. He knows the good, the bad and the ugly of Goa but never takes to any of those things.

He lives a happy life with Zoe (Bipasha Basu) until a time where the snakes get to him and he loses things dear to him. That's when he starts reacting and along with ACP Vishnu Kamath (Abhishek Bachchan), sets on this journey to get paradise back.

I don't think I'll ever play a Goan musician in a Telugu or a Tamil film and was very excited with the vibe of the entire film.

The narrative is one of three stories coalescing into one.

Yes. It's one of the most balanced three-story formats. It starts with Prateik's story, moves to ACP Vishnu Kamath's story and then I enter the story and then takes you back to how our stories are and how we meet.

I was always been fond of multistarrers, fond of parallel stories and how in those two and a half hours, one can tell more stories. That always excited me. The three stories are shared beautifully. Somehow that's like a slice of life, that's how you meet people. There are two people and at some point another story begins. That's how life is. To capture that in celluloid is fantastic.

Multiple stories format is becoming common these days.

Yeah, because it's a nice way of telling stories, tailing many characters because classically when you read a script in Telugu you follow a hero and a journey. Here you follow three people and their journeys.


Image: A scene from Dum Maaro Dum

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'Abhishek was the only person I knew in this film initially'

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What was fascinating about your character?

I never thought I would play a Goan musician. Then my look in the film -- the hair, beard and the kind of clothing I wear -- was fascinating.

I had just played a chief minister (in Leader) with neatly cut hair, a trimmed beard and glasses (Laughs). I remember telling Rohan on the first day of shooting, what did you do to me? I was the CM back in the day (Laughs)! It was so drastic.

In office, we have these posters of three films -- Leader, DMD and Nenu Naa Rakshasi (Telugu film). It looks like three different people in the posters -- I'm a politician in one, a musician in DMD and a professional killer with a gun in the third.

How did you get the DMD look?

We did elaborate look tests to get it right. If you see the film, I look as Goan as Goans look. There are some Konkani lines that I had to learn. I did a lip sync of a Konkani song for a little montage. I had Pritam's guitarist to train me. There's a body language that a guitarist has -- the way he stands, sits, holds the guitar...

How was it working with Abhishek Bachchan?

Abhishek was the only person I knew in this film initially. He joined the shoot later as he was shooting another film. He made sure I was taken care of and that I didn't feel like I didn't belong. Many people feel that. I did too, the first two days. I knew nobody.


Image: A scene from Dum Maaro Dum

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'Prateik and I were like brothers'

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Abhishek is supposed to be a prankster on the sets.

The shooting experience is fun when he's around. That's something I'd like to do all my life. We are going to be in cinema forever. For me, I was born in it and will be here till I die. You just have to make the experience fun. I think he does just that not only for himself but also for the rest of the unit because the entire unit is up and rejoicing when he's around.

When he speaks there is so much clarity in his thought, which is beautiful.

How was Prateik?

I started shooting with Prateik. He's fairly new, younger than me. We shared so much. We were like brothers. When the teaser came out, many people didn't know who Prateik was or who I was.

How was it acting with Bipasha?

I met her the first day of shooting. I was new as an actor but she's been around for so long. Yet, she did not make me feel out of place. I had a comfort level with her.

How was Rohan Sippy to work with?

The fun that we had also happened because of Rohan and his attitude. He is relaxed, calm and friendly -- all of us were. There were days when we shot round the clock. It was never a problem. Rohan never made it feel like we were working. He was fun.


Image: A scene from Dum Maaro Dum

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'I would call this debut number two'

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How did you get over the Hyderabadi accent and get the Konkani twang?

I had a diction trainer before I started shooting.

What was the experience of working in DMD?

I would call this debut number two. I don't think many people say that. The experience was so much fun. It was like starting all over again. There's so much to learn and you realise there's so little you know.

When you move to another industry, they don't know anything about you and you don't know anything about them. Knowingly or unknowingly, we have fixed notions before we start a film. But we figure out all that's wrong.

Any interesting things you would like to share with us?

There are lots of things. Earlier I didn't know how to ride a bike. I learnt it here.

In the promo, there's a shot where the bike doesn't start. Bipasha walks off and I'm walking with the bike. That actually happened. The bike actually didn't start, and she started walking off. It looked like a great moment so it was captured.

Would you want to do more Hindi films and juggle them with Telugu?

I would love to work in both industries. It's a great exposure for me.


Image: A scene from Dum Maaro Dum

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