Indian star Ram Charan is delighted with the success of SS Rajamouli’s action drama RRR (Rise Roar Revolt). The film was released worldwide on March 25 and grossed $65 million in its opening weekend, finishing third in the US and second in the UK and Ireland.
Produced by DVV Danayya on a budget of around $73 million, “RRR” is a lavish, boisterous entertainer crammed with jaw-dropping set pieces and death-defying stunts. Set in the 1920s, Vijayendra Prasad and Rajamouli’s historical fiction story sees Indian freedom fighters Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) and Komaram Bheem (NTR Jr.) meet and become fast friends. Their common enemies are the colonial occupying British. The cast also includes Bollywood stars Ajay Devgn and Alia Bhatt.
The film, which was the number one film in the world in its opening weekend, has now surpassed INR 8 billion ($105 million), according to industry estimates.
“I expected it to be a big hit, but I never expected it to be number 1 – it was a nice surprise,” said Ram Charan diversity. “It was overwhelming for us, even for Rajamouli I think.”
The cast went through an extensive workshop process before filming began. Her characters were meticulously fleshed out by Rajamouli, from childhood through the teenage years to early adulthood. Ram Charan’s Alluri Sitarama Raju, for example, is well-read, a yogi, and a master archer.
“All of these elements needed to be embedded in my character as he begins the film, although not everything will be visually evident from scene one,” said Ram Charan. “That was a very challenging part because you just had the leeway to emote so much, I couldn’t give it my all. And meditation helps his character hold back a lot of emotions that come from his childhood to date, what he’s going through with his friend in the present. It all takes a lot of mental strength.”
The actor is also in peak physical condition in the film, and the effort wasn’t to create a modern, chiseled, toned physique fueled by protein shakes, but to stay true to the 1920s era, when gyms were in India took the form of wrestling groups.
One of the talking points of the film is the dance number “Naatu Naatu,” which was filmed in Kyiv, which is now a war zone due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ram Charan contacted Rusty, who was in charge of his security. “He burst into tears and said, ‘The situation is dire.’ He sent me ground footage that was not shown in any TV coverage. They were terrible,” said Ram Charan. “I’ve seen frozen bodies, not in ice but frozen because they’ve been burned. If you touch it, they’ll probably turn to ashes.” Rusty is now one of the Ukrainians fighting the Russians. Ram Charan helps him both financially and emotionally.
“I text him all the time, he keeps talking to me when the day ends, maybe they sit in bunkers a bit more relaxed, sometimes it’s just small talk just to cheer him up. And he sends me pictures and we have a video chat,” Ram Charan said.
The actor previously worked with Rajamouli on Magadheera (2009). Aside from reuniting with Rajamouli, one of the highlights of Ram Charan’s “RRR” experience was bonding with his co-star NTR Jr., also known as Tarak.
“To work with my buddy Tarak and reach our top Indian director’s track record of success is the best thing any actor or person in my shoes could ask for,” said Ram Charan. “I know there was a so-called rivalry between us, but we’ve been friends since before ‘RRR’.”
Next up for Ram Charan is Koratala Siva’s “Acharya” alongside his father, Indian cinema megastar Chiranjeevi. While Chiranjeevi has had cameos in Ram Charan’s films such as ‘Magadheera’ and ‘Bruce Lee: The Fighter’ (2015), this is the first time they have shared significant screen time together. In the film, which is slated to hit theaters April 29, Chiranjeevi plays a social reformer fighting corruption, while Ram Charan plays a new comrade who looks up to him.
“A dream come true, I’ve learned a lot. I don’t think I got into ‘Acarya’ as a co-star, I got into it as a student and learned a lot from him,” said Ram Charan. “And the best part is that he didn’t hold my hand on any of the days of the shoot. He let me live my character and he let me make mistakes. He let me take another shot. But he had no problems, never lost his composure and I’m really grateful for that.”
Ram Charan is currently filming a project called RC15 directed by Shankar Shanmugam who is known for his big budget extravaganzas including Sivaji, Enthiran (aka Robot) and 2.0 all starring superstar Rajinikanth .
This will be followed by a film starring Gowtam Tinnanuri, who directed the hit film Jersey (2019). Details are currently under wraps.
https://variety.com/2022/film/news/ram-charan-rrr-chiranjeevi-1235222160/ Ram Charan talks RRR success and stars with Chiranjeevi