Rana Daggubati: Increased cardio, turned vegetarian

Updated: Feb 26, 2020, 08:20 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

Rana Daggubati talks about how he shaved 30 kilos for the role of a jungle man in Haathi Mere Saathi.

Rana Daggubati
Rana Daggubati

A far cry from his humongous frame in Baahubali, Rana Daggubati's next avatar sees him 30 kilos lighter and leaner, as he plays jungle man Bandev in Haathi Mere Saathi.

The actor tells mid-day he had to severely monitor his calorie intake to shed the kilos. "Prabu sir [Solomon, director] wanted the film to look real. It was difficult to lose all the weight since I have always had a large physique. I had to undergo extensive physical training to look lean and make adequate dietary changes. My workout was altered entirely; focus was paid on agility [training]."

Instead of continuing his weight-training, the actor took to longer cardiovascular sessions that lasted about an hour. However, he attributes the weight-loss primarily to dietary changes.

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"I [stopped consuming] protein-rich [foods] and turned vegetarian for a couple of months. I also reduced the intake of salt, and, in general, ate less," says the actor, adding that he maintained this regimen throughout the two-year filming duration.

A source tells mid-day that Daggubati will be seen sporting a heavy beard and grey hair in the film. "His character walks with one shoulder constantly tilted. The makers tried several appearances, and interestingly, his final look was revealed to him only on the first day [of shoot]."

Set to release on April 2 as Haathi Mere Saathi in Hindi, Kaadan in Tamil and Aranya in Telugu, the film is based on the encroachment of elephant corridors in Kaziranga, Assam.

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