RRR is a platform where this journey is going to come. It’s a way of achieving what all the hardworking directors and people in the movie industry in India wanted to see for the last 85 years. The final goal is to be recognized on a world platform.”

-Ram Charan, episode 320 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso

Ahead of this year’s Academy Awards, we sit with “RRR” actor Ram Charan! At the top, he reflects on his experience observing Ayyappa Deeksha (3:09) and what it meant to join forces with actor NTR Jr. (7:05) on the Oscar-nominated Indian epic (7:50), guided by the singular vision of director S.S. Rajamouli (12:18). Then, Charan shares how the viral ‘Naatu Naatu’ dance number came to be (16:25), the privilege of filming in pre-war Ukraine (18:03), and the influence of his father, actor Chiranjeevi (23:05).

On the back-half, we talk about his upbringing in Hyderabad (30:57), how Charan carved out his own path to acting (36:05), and how “RRR” blurs the lines of Tollywood and Bollywood (40:33). To close, Charan wrestles with the historic nature of this Oscar nomination (46:03) and what he hopes it portends for the Indian film industry (47:47).


Illustrations by: Krishna Shenoi.

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