Deepika Padukone, whose character in Rajinikanth’s Rana is at par with the South superstar, is literally burning midnight oil to get into the skin of her role before she starts shooting next week. The actor is undergoing training in Vajra Mukti, a traditional martial art form. She’s also expected to learn Sanskrit while she’s completing her month-long London schedule of Desi Boyz with John Abraham and Akshay Kumar. The Om Shanti Om star, supposedly, does her homework for Rana after packing up everyday.
Deepika, however, has learnt Bharatanatyam in her growing up years, which is another essential requirement for her role. A member of Desi Boyz’s unit explains, "She just needs to brush up on the dance form. She trained in Bharatanatyam when she was staying in Bangalore, but didn’t practice it much in the last couple of years. To a certain extent, it’s the same case with Vajra Mukti. Deepika had trained in karate for Chandni Chowk To China."
When prodded some more, Deepika’s associate informs that on the London outdoor shoot that wraps up on April 20, the actor is working on her body’s flexibility for the action scenes with Rajnikanth, who has already started shooting with director KS Ravikumar. "Her formal training in Vajra Mukti will start after she reaches Chennai. Its techniques are similar to kung fu, karate, jiu-jitsu and boxing. It’s associated with weapons wielded by hands and involves grappling and striking skills."
Deepika admits, "There are some intense action scenes. I’m preparing my body first for the month-long martial art training. I have dealt with fight scenes before, but this time it’s something totally unimaginable."
The star, it’s learnt, ends her day by learning Sanskrit from her south-Indian school teacher, since a part of Rana is set in the 17th century. She’s also undergone Hindi language polishing for Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan. Rana, produced by Soundarya (Rajni’s daughter), wraps up in the last quarter of the calendar year. Deepika’s part will be shot across 100 days in six months, keeping her date diary in mind. The actor, who green-signalled the film even before the narration was completed, beams, "Ideally, I’d have worked my dates as per Rajni sir’s requirements. I feel apologetic that he was forced to plan schedules to accommodate me!"