To his legions of fans, he is the swoon-worthy star who burst onto the screen and our collective consciousness when he played Ballaladeva, the ruthless antagonist in the blockbuster Baahubali. And while his star is definitely on the rise, acting was not always his first career choice. Despite being born into a filmi family, Rana Daggubati’s foray into cinema was not like the usual star kid launch that is all too familiar these days and he explored and succeeded in other professions before the arc lights beckoned.
There’s also more to this star than meets the eye. Here are some of Rana Daggubati’s hidden talents that you may not have been aware of:
- The Entrepreneur: Rana ran a successful film production company called Spirit Media. One of the movies his company produced, a film called Bommalata-A Bellyfull of Dreams, even won National Awards. “I’ve had some success and some failures. It’s the film business, so I’m there in the film and the business,” he said in an interview with the Hindustan Times. He also entered into a joint venture with Kwan Entertainment and Marketing Solutions to represent and manage actors’ projects and their businesses.
- The Geek: Rana, who began his career working in a BPO wanted to be a software engineer. He loves to speak about Augmented Reality (AR), given his early days as a visual effects supervisor. He is constantly occupied with how the latest in technology can be applied to cinema. In an interview to YourStory, he said, “I don’t have any aspirations of becoming a big superstar. I can continue talking about AR and technology for hours on end as I can talk about the character I am working on.”
- The Perfectionist: He believes in getting under the skin of each character, often undergoing major transformation to play it to perfection. That is why prefers to focus on one film at a time. “You start being that person (character) and before long, you start walking and behaving like the character. But the magic is that once I see the film, I am done with it and the character. This is the most amazing part of our jobs!” he said in an interview with YourStory. To truly get into character for Baahubali, like his co-star Prabhas, Rana underwent a major physical transformation. For Baahubali: The Beginning, he maintained a weight of 110 kg, but for the sequel, he had to lose 22 kg.
- The Philanthropist: Rana is a strong believer in giving to those who are less fortunate. He once participated in a show Memu Saitham, where celebrities do odd jobs to help the needy. Daggubati worked as a coolie and donated whatever he earned to charity.
- The Foodie: While most of his peers on social media post images of themselves, Rana’s Instagram account is an odd mix of self-deprecating memes, giant burgers, his first vegetarian pizza, a restaurant that shares his name, which sells ‘100 percent pure mutton haleem, and a ‘Chainees Wet Non-Veg’ menu he once found. On a trip to Japan, it is believed he experimented with various cuisines and didn’t shy away from trying anything.
Get up and close with Rana as he talks about his journey from a VFX supervisor to a superstar during the Signature Start-Up Masterclass series in Hyderabad on Friday, November 24, 2017.
The Signature Start-Up Masterclass series celebrates those who found their passion and dared to pursue it. It is a unique opportunity for people to hear their icons share the story of how they managed to successfully convert their passion into paychecks.
Held across 14 cities with an impressive line-up of speakers and hosted by actor Neil Bhoopalam, the series follows role models who became successful doing what they love. The Masterclass sessions are followed by a musical/stand-up comedy performance by the celebrities themselves or a local artiste.