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Interview : K Raghavendra Rao – Nag was the only choice for this film


Legendary director, K Raghavendra Rao is back with yet another devotional flick in the form of Om Namo Venkatesaya. On the occasion of the film’s release, we caught up with him for a detailed interview. Here is the transcript.

Difference between Annamayya and Om Namo?

Both the films are based on the disciples of Lord Venkateswara but are completely different in its narration and concept. In this film, the emphasis is more on the friendship of Lord Venkateswara and Hathiram Baba. The emotions and journey are completely different and will surely impress every section of the audience.

Very less is known about Hati Ram Baba. How did you manage?

Yes ! it is true that very less is known about Hati Ram Baba. But whatever we knew about him was used to full effect. Also, we took a lot of cinematic liberties and added our own interpretations and dealt with the film in a clean and simple manner which will be understood by all.

How did you convince Nagarjuna to accept this role?

Initially, he was very skeptical to do this project. Nag felt that as not much is known about Hati Ram Baba, it would be quite difficult to manage the climax and other aspects of the film. Once I narrated him the detailed script and climax, he was convinced completely and the project was on.

Was Nagarjuna the only choice for this project?

Yes! the day I wrote the script, Nag was the only hero who came to my mind. If he would have rejected this film, I would have never made it with anyone else.

Working experience with Nagarjuna?

I feel that it was destined to happen. I never saw any other actor other than Nag in this role. The moment he walked on to the sets, everybody would be in awe of him as Ram Baba. The way he has performed in some scenes made me so emotional that I even forgot to say cut during the shoots.

In this day and age, don’t you think making a film like this is a risk?

No ! I never felt like that. Films run because of some very good emotions. If you narrate the film with gripping emotions, everyone will watch the film irrespective of its genre. I feel that today’s youth will also like the film because the way with which we have narrated the story.

Is Om Namo Venkatesaya is your last film?

I never said so. Everything happens for a purpose and by the grace of god, I have reached to where I am today. You never know what is written for you in the future. We need to only wait for the divine intervention and act according to how destiny and god guides us in life.

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