Rana is a producer who has an eye for offbeat content, and his first ever production 'Bommalata' which was made in 2004, is now premiering at the Bandra Film Festival.

Rana Daggubati in maroon and black sitting with a coffee mug
Flix Interview Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 15:54

The minute Rana Daggubati walks into the room, the crowd can’t help but cheer for the actor. Now a pan-India star, thanks to the epic Baahubali series, the actor is a celebrity with no airs. In Bengaluru for the launch of Happy Head, a wellness and IV clinic, the witty and erudite actor got candid with TNM in a quick chat.

Life post marriage has been blissful for the actor, who got married to entrepreneur Miheeka Bajaj in 2020.  “Most often, we’re asked how we have changed post marriage. But I became a changed man and then got married! Married life is great – it’s really peaceful. I like the fact that I have someone to go back to and life now is not just about work all the time,” says the actor, who is quite private about his personal life, and refrains from posting too much about it on social media.

On the work front, one of the projects that the actor is kicked about is his collaboration with his uncle, veteran actor Venkatesh, for Rana Naidu, a Netflix show that will bring the Daggubati duo together for the first time onscreen. “I haven’t started shooting for it yet – I begin shoot on November 18. My uncle and I are going to be on the same set together and it is exciting because we’ve never shot a long form show before. For both of us, it’s going to be a learning experience and it’s something I always wanted to do. The show is an adaptation of the American TV show Ray Donavan, which was extremely successful overseas. I’m looking forward to working with Karan Anshuman and the rest of the team,” he shares. His upcoming flicks include Viraata Parvam, co-starring Sai Pallavi, and Bheemla Nayak, which stars Pawan Kalyan.

The actor’s massive weight loss and transformation mean that he now has a lanky frame, which is a complete contradiction to his beefed up look in Baahubali. But not many are aware that Rana faced major health issues and had to undergo an organ transplant during the shooting of his film Kaadan.

Rana is also a producer who has an eye for offbeat content. His first ever production Bommalata, which was made in 2004, is now premiering at the Bandra Film Festival and is being talked about after so many years. “Bommalata was my first ever association with films in any form. At the time I made it, the film won two National Awards, but we didn’t get a theatrical release because it was too offbeat, out-of-the-box for puppets to talk in a film. But today, we’re in such a different time because content like that is being appreciated in a mainstream way.” Rana heads Rama Naidu Studios along with his father Suresh and uncle Venkatesh. But as a new age content producer, what does he look for? “The idea is always to find stories that are unique, alternative and not being told enough and to give them a mainstream voice and platform,” says the change-maker.

Just like his film choices, the actor’s other interests too have been unconventional. A sports buff, he recently shot a campaign for WWE India, and he’s also a huge fan of the NBA. As a child, Rana, who was an avid reader of Amar Chitra Katha comics, can’t help but get excited that he’s in Bengaluru, the place where the journey of ACK actually began. The actor took his love for the comics to the next level by buying a stake in the company and also giving it a digital revamp. “People of a certain age group in India who speak English learnt about Indian mythology and the culture of the country from ACK. It had a huge influence on my life too. Post Baahubali, we realised we can make cinema about Indian mythology on a grand scale in any language and the entire country will watch it. So, I found ACK, collaborated with them and we now have three million subscribers on the app. All the comics are available in digital versions and new titles are being added too. Our studio is also working on live action content which is going to be authentic to India,” he signs off.

Also read: How Jai Bhim's Manikandan grew in Tamil cinema to become Rasakannu

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