Rana Daggubati talks about his upcoming film ‘Department’ and why romantic roles are not his forte
Growing up on a diet of ‘Rambo’ and ‘Rocky’, Rana Daggubati has always been a fan of action films. “Directors don’t cast me in Rom-coms,” he jokes when asked about his affinity to action films. ‘Department’ is Rana’s second Hindi film after ‘Dum Maaro Dum’ and he plays a young recruit in the police force who battles corruption within the force.It took him a while to decide on this role after RGV approached him since the character was to be essayed by Abhishek Bachchan but RGV was quick to reassure him that Rana would be perfect to play Shivnarayan. " I love action thrillers so I am happy to be part of the film,” he says. In a free-wheeling chat, Rana talks about juggling different industries, 'Department' and his learning curve.
Excerpts from the interview:
What inspired you to take up another cop-drama?
The idea of being part of something similar to the innumerous cop-dramas I’ve grown up watching, and stories of the Mumbai Mafia and Police have always excited me. This film and the experience I’ve had working with Ramu whose films I grew up watching, will continue to have a tremendous influence in my life.
How did you become Shivnarayan?
Thankfully, I have been physically fit and didn’t have to change much physically. Since I play a police officer, I had to get into the character’s skin. I met a lot of police officers in Hyderabad to understand how they function. A lot of them were a part of the force when the underworld was at its peak and they were a part of the ‘clean-up’ squad. Ramu was very clear in his brief and it was not difficult to understand the character. Shivnarayan is a honest recruit who is clean and is always measured in his action. He is humble and soft with no lose gestures. His integrity is sound and it can’t be tampered.
What were the challenges of portraying such a character?
Not many since I had enough time to prepare for role. This is my second Hindi film after ‘Dum Maaro Dum’ and I was in talks with Ramu about my role. Since it is an action film, my only challenge was to not get injured. Unfortunately, while shooting, I injured myself and was out of action for 12 days. I was complete bed-rest. I was able to resume basic shooting only after three weeks. Also shooting in the crowded lanes of Bhendi Bazaar was quite a task but quite exciting.
In an earlier interview, you have said that you prefer action flicks more. Why is this aversion towards romance?
Not at all. If I get a good romantic film, I would do it. I have grown up on a diet of action films like Rocky, Rambo, Indiana Jones etc so action as a genre excites me. Moreover, with a face like this, not many people are willing to cast me in rom-coms, so I only get action flicks to do (laughs).
You have worked in different film industries, how different are they from Bollywood?
The method in madness is the same. It’s a great feeling to work in different parts of the country. But unlike the regional film industry, Bollywood is more expansive. Despite being a Telegu actor, I chose to do Hindi films since the reach is much larger. I grew up watching Tamil, Telegu and Hindi films so I am comfortable with all the three languages.
You have battled weight gain in the past and have successfully lost 45 kgs. How did you manage that?
The key secret to any weight loss plan is finding time for fitness. When I was fat, I always had an excuse for not working out. When I was working in the VFX Company, I had haywire schedules and odd eating hours. I had a paunch and love handles. So when I shifted to acting, I realized if I have to look good, I had to get in shape.
After being in the industry for some time, what has been your biggest learning curve?
Department is my fifth film after three Telegu films and Dum Maaro Dum. I have already signed a Tamil film, so I am happy about what I have achieved in such a short time. I want to different kind of films so that I keep growing as an actor.
Watch the trailer: