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SANGEETHA DEVI DUNDOO
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CINEMA Rana Daggubati is living it up playing a romantic and a tough cop

balancing actRana Daggubati
balancing actRana Daggubati

Rana Daggubati is at ease amidst a whirlwind of promotional activity. “Naa Ishtam” is his fourth film and his first love story, a romantic comedy at that.

A few weeks from now, the actor will be seen as a rough and tough Maharashtrian cop in Ram Gopal Varma's “Department”. Shifting between shooting schedules of “Naa Ishtam” (Telugu) and “Department” (Hindi) wasn't easy, says Rana.

“In ‘Department', my body language is different. I sport a handlebar moustache and talk in a measured way. After ‘Naa Ishtam' it would take me a while to get into other characters,” he says. “Department”, “Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum” (by Krish Jagarlamudi) and Selvaraghavan's Tamil film require Rana to be at his fittest best to perform action sequences. And he is mighty pleased with the attention he is getting for his newly-acquired six pack abs. “I was training twice a day in between my shooting schedules. Lakshman Reddy, the silver medallist of this year's Mr. India contest, has been guiding me. He is a professional bodybuilder. He has a few more months before his next competition. So I told him that this is my time to compete (on screen) and he obliged,” laughs Rana.

Talking about the characters he is getting to portray, Rana says, “I was in school when I saw ‘Godfather' and ‘Nayakan'. While shooting for ‘Leader', I felt I was entering into that space. ‘Dum Maaro Dum' reminded me of ‘Amores Perros' and Steven Soderbergh's ‘Traffic'. ‘Naa Ishtam', I feel, is like ‘Rangeela' where each character is right in his/her own way with different points of view.”

Telugu cinema has seen very few rom-coms and the last one that did justice to the genre was the hugely successful ‘Ala Modalaindi'. The title was inspired by RGV's book of the same name. “In ‘Ala Modalaindi' I played a guy who is extremely selfish. His selfishness is born out of the fear that he will be taken advantage of if he lets go things,” explains Rana. That was the first time Rana worked with a debut director (Prakash Toleti), after having worked with established names such as Sekhar Kammula, Puri Jagannadh and Rohan Sippy.

SANGEETHA DEVI DUNDOO

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