Actor Nagarjuna’s look on the poster of his upcoming film Shirdi Sai Baba has an uncanny resemblance with any Sai Baba poster anyone must’ve come across, clearly indicating the work that has gone into the actor’s look for the film. Recalling his experiences during the shoot of his film, the actor spoke about his tryst with Sai Baba.
“I never knew anything about Shirdi Sai Baba until about three months ago. The only time I would probably realise his existence was when my relatives would visit home with prasadam from Shirdi or when they would gift us idols or photographs of the God,” shares Nagarjuna, adding, “My sudden curiosity took over me and one day I set out to Shirdi all by myself. I had a nice darshan and was really happy to see so many devotees visiting the place from acorss the country. And when I returned, it was such a coincidence that director Raghavendra Rao narrated the script to me, and I was more than happy to do it.”
The movie recently completed its post-production stage, with just one shot left. The whole cast will travel to Shirdi on July 25 to finish the last shot. The audio release of the movie is schedules to be held on July 30.
Nagarjuna further shares that once he started shooting for the film, he started noticing Sai Baba’s existence everyday and started connecting with him. “I started noticing him everywhere. On the back of a lorry, on posters or a temple in a remote village while I was travelling. One night I even saw an idol in my house. I was so surprised at the amount of positive vibes it got in,” he says, adding, “It has been a great spiritual experience for me, and I will always cherish this.”
The movie was shot in a span of 60 days. Maintaining his looks was indeed a tough task for Nagarjuna. “I was so worried about my looks in the movie, a my beard had to be half-white and half-grey and it had to be trimmed to a consistent level. It did take all of us a lot of effort to being in that look,” he recalls.
Moving on from looks to acting, Nagarjuna says he had to put in a great deal of effort to portray the role of Shirdi Sai Baba. “This movie is different from the last mythological character, Annamayya and Sri Ramadasu, as I had to play the role of a devotee in them. But this time I had to play the God himself. I was very worried about my acting. But, somehow everything fell in place.”
He also shares with a great amount of happily that this movie hardly faced interruptions or glitches. “This is probably the only movie of mine which went on real smooth. I didn’t even realise when and how we finished shooting for the movie.”
Shot in a village in Karnataka called Badami, the movie also stars Shrikant, Sharath Babu, Sri Hari, Sayaji Shinde and Kamalini Mukherjee. Back with the famous trio, Nagarjuna-K Raghavendra Rao - M M Keeravani, the movie Shirdi Sai Baba talks about life and times of Sai Baba.
“This is my 24th movie with director K Raghavendra Rao and he knows how to direct such movies. And the music is another scoring element of the movie. It takes away half the burden from the actors,” Nagarjuna expresses. Composed by MM Keeravani, the audio of the movie consists of 16 compositions, of which there are 13 songs, two lengthy background scores and one bhajan. The movie will release early next year.