Exclusive interview! Om Raut on ‘Adipurush’: Prabhas and Saif Ali Khan have undergone a remarkable physical transformation – Times of India

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Riding on the success of the grand historical saga ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’, Om Raut has moved on to yet another epic titled ‘Adipurush’. The film is based on the Hindu epic Ramayana and is set in the time when it historically took place, around 30,000 years ago. With this venture, the director promises yet another euphoric experience, starring a power-packed cast of Saif Ali Khan, Prabhas and Kriti Sanon. In an exclusive interaction with ETimes, the filmmaker opens up about ‘Adipurush’, working with Kriti Sanon, and the challenges of narrating a period story. Excerpts.

What kind of preparation goes into making a historical drama?

You have to decide the story, sketch the drama, the shots and then decide how the visual effects are going to help you. The preparation is at several levels, working in parallel. Research is also an integral part, be it a periodical film, a historical movie, or even otherwise. There is also a lot of research on execution. Of course, with a historical, there is more research that happens with getting the narrative right, creating that right space and time, so that is definitely in addition. But I, personally, enjoy it. I’m a history buff and love romance history and I’m just happy doing readings and all the stuff required just to get it right.

Has it ever bothered you, that there will be criticism from historians or has there been a fear of misrepresentation?

I enjoy doing the right research and keeping my head and heart in the right place and looking at a particular historical event or a personality in the right spirit. I feel that when you have your heart in the right space and your intentions are right, you want to keep the sanctity of the historical events intact, and you look at everything with a pure mind, then you shouldn’t worry much about anything going wrong. What I would like to think about is how rightly do I work and how pure I keep my work place.

Saif Ali Khan received a lot of praise for his performance in ‘Tanhaji’ and you have reunited with him for ‘Adipurush’ and again it is a negative role. So, was it actually planned?

Of course, it was planned. We had decided to take him and when I narrated the script to him, he liked it. Saif accepted it and liked the part that I had written, which is very nice of him. You always have someone in mind and fortunately with ‘Tanhaji’ and ‘Adipurush’ I got to work with my dream cast. So I’ve been quite lucky that the actors that I wanted to work with, when we were writing the script, were the actors who eventually accepted the part later. I have been lucky so far.

What kind of prep brief has been given to Saif Ali Khan and Prabhas?

There is a lot of work that is going on. Saif and Prabhas have undergone a remarkable physical transformation and there is massive action involved too. There is a lot of physical transformation that Prabhas has undergone from an artiste’s point of view and he continues to work on it even now as we shoot. With Saif Ali Khan, it is evident in the pictures, but I cannot reveal much.

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You shot with Kriti Sanon also recently. How would you describe her as an actress?


She has finished her part and I think she’s phenomenal. I mean she’s so genuine and pure, and it’s just a great experience working with her. Kriti has nailed the mental clarity that one requires to play the part that she’s playing. She’s also getting trained because she has to speak in Telugu, which is not the language that she could speak in, besides focusing on her diet and everything. It just shows the passion and dedication that she brings to the table. So, it was a lovely experience working with her.

You have set the film’s release for August 11, 2022, and considering the current situation, are you running on a tight schedule?

We are about 30 per cent into our shoot, we finished our principal photography last year. The schedule is tight but we are extremely well planned.

How challenging is it to shoot with constant sanitisation, masks, fewer teams and extensive COVID-19 precautions?

We’re getting tested often because that’s the protocol that is set up and, of course, the team has been limited. So, there are modifications; the kind of protocol that is followed on the sets is very different. Everybody is wearing masks because I follow that very strictly and there is constant inspection also. We have already shot for more than 30 days and have got used to it (laughs). I think we’re in that space and the team has gotten used to the protocol now. We’re hanging in.

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