Making Thozha was a sign: Nagarjuna

Nagarjuna speaks about sitting in a wheelchair throughout Thozha.

The upcoming film Thozha challenged Nagarjuna more than any of his other films. And if you have watched the French film Intouchables, you’ll know why. Like the protagonist in Intouchables, Nagarjuna is wheelchair-bound throughout Thozha. Says the actor, “But five minutes after the film starts everyone will forget that I sit in a wheelchair. Though he is stuck to the chair, he lives life like a king.” “I had watched Intouchables four years back and I thought at that time that somebody should come up with these kind of films in Telugu. The French film was a huge hit all over the world.

“After four years, director Vamsi approached me and said he wanted to do a film and couldn’t think of anyone except me. He even told me that if I said no, he would cancel the project! He showed me the French film and I immediately told him that I would do the role,” Nagarjuna adds. There’s another reason why he accepted the role immediately — “It was a sign. I thought of the film four years back and then they bought the rights of the French film and approached me, so I thought it was made for me. That’s why I immediately said yes.”

He adds that the film is an inspiration because it’s a true story. “It not only gives inspiration to the disabled, anybody can get inspired from it,” he says. But it was a very difficult role. “Half of our expressions come from body language, so I had to be very careful not to move my legs or hands. Moreover, the character is not a serious one, he jokes, he laughs and he enjoys life. So it wasn’t easy playing the character,” he says, adding that it needed a lot of patience to sit in the chair.

“I usually sleep around 9.30, but when I was shooting for this film, most of the time my body was at rest. So when I would go home I couldn’t sleep till 12.30. After the shot was over I used to walk around the sets as I had sat for so long,” says the actor. Asked what was the real life connect for him in the film, he says: “Friendship. The bonds are so strong and there’s so much greatness in friendship,” says. “I like to drive. In Paris we got permission to shoot for the whole night, and Karthi was driving the car and I had to sit next to him. It was a very difficult scene and I couldn’t control myself. Of course, after the scene was over I drove the car on the streets of Paris,” laughs Nagarjuna.

He adds, “Karan Johar wants to remake Thozha in Hindi as he has brought the rights. So he is waiting for the film’s release because before making any changes, he wants to see the response to this film first.”
At this age, Nagarjuna says that he is enjoying his work. “Also, I am more excited that people are looking for new genres. I don’t think about the collections or numbers, only that I should do justice to the role and make it believable. Then the film will definitely do well at the box-office,” he says.

Thoughts of retirement are not in his mind. “I never think about retirement. Unless circumstances make me quit, I would loved to continue working, and I am not ambitious to be the lead actor for my whole life. Nobody can fight time and age. You have to move,” he says. Talking about his upcoming projects, he says he is doing Namo Venkatesa, a devotional film directed by K. Raghavendra Rao, and the sequel to Soggade Chinni Nayana.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story