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“I did not feel the pressure to direct a big star like Prabhas. He has faith in me and my work and that matters the most to me. Also, the producers and the team members showed confidence in me. But now that the film is gearing for release in few months, I can feel the pressure,” Sujeeth said in a media interaction here.
Saaho was offered to Prabhas before he became a nationwide phenomenon with Baahubali and its 2017 follow up.
Sujeeth says Prabhas agreed to do the film immediately after reading the script.
“I had the script of ‘Saaho’, which was ready before ‘Baahubali’. I narrated him the story and he loved it.”
Saaho will mark the acting debut of Shraddha in Telugu cinema and the director says she has a solid role in the thriller.
“It is an important role for the female character. Shraddha drives the film to the end. It was a conscious decision to make my female characters strong. When we started working on the teaser, we had two options here – to go with Prabhas, considered as a huge star and you expect him to be there in the opening scene. And other was to begin it with Shraddha and we chose the latter.”
The film also stars Bollywood actors like Mandira Bedi, Jackie Shroff, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Chunky Panday.
“It was never intentional to cast a Bollywood actor for the film. Whoever I think is apt for the story I cast them, actors like Jackie Shroff, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Chunky Pandey and Shraddha Kapoor were the best choice for the film,” the director said.
Sujeeth said he began working on Saaho soon after the release of his directorial debut Run Raja Run in 2014.
“I took one or two months to finish the script. But a lot of time was required to get the action right. I met the action guys in 2015 with all the sequences that I had planned, he gave some suggestions and then I altered things at the script level.
“We have worked with international stunt choreographer Kenny Bates who has done ‘Transformers’. He is the best guy in action. Another action guy is Peng Zhang, who is a stunt coordinator and had also directed a Chinese film ‘Asura’. They are a part of ‘Saaho’.”