‘Naatu Naatu Was Shot at the Presidential Palace in Ukraine'
Rajamouli revealed that the song was initially going to be shot in India. However, due to monsoons the location had to be changed. "Whenever we speak about 'Naatu Naatu', the first thing that comes to mind is the location. The song was filmed in Kyiv, at the Presidential Palace. It was supposed to be shot in India, but the monsoons had already set it and we were scouting for locations. I loved this place, and later got to know it was the Palace. As I was thinking that probably we had to probably shift the people told me, 'This is Ukraine, you can get the job done'", the filmmaker shared.
‘We Had Actual Dancers & Musicians as Background Artistes'
Rajamouli also spoke about the background dancers in the 'Naatu Naatu' music video. "What many don't tend to notice about the song is the background dancers. They are not just extras, they are dancers. In the sequence, the men can be seen expressing their discomfort at two Indian guys taking over, but the women are really enjoying the steps. They enacted the scene before their turn to dance came. I was surprised at the level of professionalism the dancers in Ukraine had. Even the background musicians are musicians in real life", the filmmaker added.
Rajamouli on the Biggest Challenge the Choreographer Faced
In the interview, Rajamouli was all praise for the choreographer, Prem Rakshith. "One of the most difficult jobs that the choreographer Prem Rakshith had was to make Ram Charan and Jr NTR enact the same steps. He has worked with them before and is familiar with their body language, but both of them have their distinct styles. He had to give them steps which were not too complicated, because even I wanted the song to have steps that fans can perform easily", he said.
Rajamouli also shared that Rakshith came up with around 100 variations for the popular hook step of the song.
‘The Suspender Step Is My Favourite'
Speaking about his wife Rama designing the costumes for the song, Rajamouli said, "Rama designed the costumes for the song like she was designing a scene, and when Rakshith saw the suspenders he wanted to play along with them. We had to use loose suspenders for only one shot, and that was the most difficult step for Ram Charan and NTR".
‘For the Audience It’s a Fun Song, for the Story It’s a Fight Scene'
Rajamouli also shared that the song was actually a fight sequence but the audience enjoys it as a fun dance song. "When I instructed the choreographer I said that for the audience it's a fun dance song, but for the story it's actually a fight scene. 'Naatu Naatu' starts off with an Englishman insulting the duo, but they are there on a purpose. Therefore, they can't get into a fight and blow their cover. What you are seeing is a dance, but the steps and the emotion are there of a fight", he shared.
How It Was a Nightmare for the Costume Designers
Rajamouli also opened up about the heavy costumes that the dancers were wearing in the music video. "For the people wearing the heavy costumes, the nightmare began when we moved from solid ground to a dusty place. I wanted the dust to fly and when the women and men were performing the step that went viral, their outfits were getting dirty and spoiled. The costume designers had to make multiple copies of the dresses, and everyday they had to be cleaned delicately", he said.