Ram Charan (‘RRR’) on being ‘scared to death’ filming ‘Naatu Naatu’ dance sequence after ACL tear [Exclusive Video Interview]

“Being part of a film like this is so satisfying and gratifying as an actor,” says Ram Charan, the star of S.S. Rajamouli‘s worldwide blockbuster “RRR.” “We already experienced the reception of this film in India when it was released. I thought, ‘It can’t get bigger than this.’ Then we see it released in the West and L.A. and Hollywood. I just felt you guys told me again that this is just the beginning. It is really satisfying to see, as an actor, being appreciated globally. It’s high time we all start exchanging our talent. It’s happening with ‘RRR’ I hope.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.

“RRR” is a fictitious story about two legendary revolutionaries, Alluri Sitarama Raju (Charan) and Komaram Bheem (NTR Jr.), and their journey away from home before they started fighting for their country in the 1920s. With a $72 million budget, it was the most expensive Indian film to date and grossed $175 million worldwide. It is nominated for Best Picture and Best Director at the upcoming Critics Choice Awards on January 15.

SEE NTR Jr. (‘RRR’) on global ‘phenomenon’ and what he calls ‘the toughest scene in my career’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

“I felt the sense of a roller coaster ride and different genres coming together,” Charan says about Rajamouli’s script. “It was action, it was drama, it was a bit of thriller and musical. It was so difficult for him to bring so many genres together and make it convincing and hit it out of the park like this.”

Charan reveals shooting the dance sequence to “Naatu Naatu” for 12 straight days was the most exhausting part of filming. “Talking about it, my knees still wobble,” he laughs. “I had an injury on the set, off the camera. I had a ligament tear, my ACL tore. It was a second degree tear. I was off the set for three months. I was doing rehab, getting ready, and right after I came back we went straight to Ukraine to shoot the ‘Naatu Naatu’ song. I was scared to death whether I could pull it off.”

The actor grew up in a household filled with Indian film stars and producers, but he reveals two American A-listers that inspired him: Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. “I never missed the Brad and Tom films,” he admits. “They were [both] somebody I looked up to when I was young. Seeing them again in ‘Once Upon a Time In Hollywood’ and ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ man, they don’t age. They are the same. Tom, for 38 years he looks the same and he’s only getting better and keeping us so close to him as fans of his.”

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