RRR‘s ‘Naatu Naatu’ has been the talk of the town for the past few months. The song won an Oscar for the Best Original Song category. It is the first Indian film to have bagged this honour in this category.
Ram Charan and Jr NTR were supposed to perform the song from RRR live at the event. One of the Oscars’ producers, Raj Kapoor, confirmed this and said that the actors stepped out for a variety of reasons, one of which was the duo’s discomfort with dancing live on stage.
Initially, the plan was to make the track’s original singers Kaala Bhairava and Rahul Sipligunj sing live and have Ram Charan and Jr NTR perform on stage with a battalion of dancers.
In an interview, Raj said: “Originally, the two leads were going to be the stars of the number alongside the singers Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava. The show was very instrumental in helping secure working visas for their team to be able to come to the US to be a part of the performance…
“Once we had the musical edit approved by MM Keeravani, we did late-night Zoom calls with the choreography team in India and Los Angeles.
“We shared casting choices, costume design ideas, and stage renderings with the team from India.” The producer added: “In late February, we were informed that Ram Charan and NT Rama Rao Jr would be attending the Oscars, but they did not feel comfortable performing the live number on stage.
“The change was brought on because of their other professional commitments and the limited amount of time to rehearse.” Raj also said: “The original number was workshopped and rehearsed for two months and was shot over a period of 15 days.
“The Naatu Naatu performance for the Oscars was rehearsed in Los Angeles with professional dancers for a total of 18 hours of rehearsal and one 90-minute camera blocking.” Rahul and Kaala Bhairava performed ‘Naatu Naatu’ during the Oscars event.
RRR, a work of fiction by SS Rajamouli, is based on the lives of two genuine heroes and well-known revolutionaries and is set in the pre-independent 1920s.