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EntertainmentKiran Rao opens up about her grueling experience as Assistant Director on...

Kiran Rao opens up about her grueling experience as Assistant Director on Lagaan sets


A Glimpse into the Grueling Assistant Director Days: Kiran Rao Recalls her AD Experience on Lagaan Set

Renowned filmmaker Kiran Rao recently looked back at her early career days working as an assistant director on the mega-hit film Lagaan. In a candid conversation, she shed light on the tedious responsibilities and constant pressure that came with being an AD on such a massive period production.

Rao, known for critically-acclaimed films like Dhobi Ghat and Laataa Fatte, started out in the industry coordinating various logistical elements on the sets of Lagaan. She admitted to being a “minion” who was frequently reprimanded for any errors. As one of the four ADs, her routine involved waking up before dawn to get the large ensemble cast, including two teams, ready with hair, makeup and costumes on time.

The 2000s blockbuster was no doubt an ambitious project shot outdoors on a massive scale. Rao recalled the relentless early mornings and stressful coordination as a “logistical nightmare”. While grateful for the experience, she questioned her career path during long hours spent ensuring smooth operations.

Another challenge was dealing with a “horrible” co-AD, Reema Kagti. The acclaimed director-producer was apparently hard on Rao and had her running around non-stop. It was an intense learning phase but the minimal creative control left her feeling disconnected from the process.

Although her current position is vastly different, Rao acknowledges the importance of putting in hard work from the ground up. Her grit and perseverance through those formative years ultimately led her to find her voice as a renowned storyteller in the industry.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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