Actors Ram Charan Tej and Jr NTR didn't want to perform live for the 'Naatu Naatu' song that was staged during the Oscar Awards ceremony held at the Dolby Studio in Los Angeles, US, on March 12.
The Oscar-winner song from S S Rajamouli's 'RRR" was nominated for the best music in the original song category.
In February itself, New Delhi-born producer Raj Kapoor was requested to present the 'iconic song' on stage at the awards night, and this encouraged him to bring both the stars on board for the performance on the stage.
Raj Kapoor said, "Originally, the two leads would be the stars of the number alongside the singers Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava. In late February, we were informed that Ram Charan and N.T. Rama Rao Jr. would be attending the Oscars, but they did not feel comfortable performing the live number on stage."
Raj Kapoor then looked for other options, "The change was brought on because of their other professional commitments and the limited time to rehearse. The original number was workshopped and rehearsed for two months and was shot over 15 days. The "Naatu Naatu" performance for the Oscars was rehearsed in Los Angeles with professional dancers for 18 hours of rehearsal and one 90-minute camera blocking."
He added, "The song's Oscar nomination was a historic moment for Indian cinema, and I wanted to make sure that the show took extra care in collaborating with the creators of the original song."
Raj Kapoor said they felt proud to help shape the "Naatu Naatu" performance at the Oscars.
He added, "As soon as the nomination was announced, we asked for the involvement of choreographer Prem Rakshith since the choreography is so iconic to the impact of this musical number."
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