We Wanted Either Hans Zimmer Or AR Rahman For The Goat Life: Prithiviraj Sukumaran

New Delhi: When ‘Aadujeevitham’ (The Goat Life) was announced in 2018, nearly a decade after director Blessy and Malayalam star Prithviraj Sukumaran had discussed it, there was palpable excitement. Based on the true story of Malayali immigrant Najeeb who went through a hellish experience in Saudi Arabia, ‘The Goat Life’ is all set to release on March 28, 2024.

Director Blessy spent some 16 years of his life on this film and Malayalam star Prithviraj Sukumaran also travelled with him on the journey to find a story.The ‘Aadujeevitham’ star endured a gruelling physical makeover for the part, became trapped in Jordan with the team throughout the pandemic, and lived through the terrifying nightmare that Najeeb had.

Recently, in an interaction with HIndustan Times, Prithiraj Sukumaran spoke about the film.

If ‘Aadujeevitham’ (The Goat Life) changed his life?

When asked about the director spending 16 years on the film and if ‘The Goat Life’ changed him, Sukumaran said, “When you talk of a life-changing experience, you usually talk of an experience of a shorter duration. I’ve been dreaming of doing this film. I’ve been ideating probably at a subconscious level about how I would approach this role and even now my mind unconsciously goes to Najeeb sometimes. For me, it’s not an experience – it’s a phase of life I have lived through. I’m sure I’m going to be richer as a man and as an actor, for having lived through this experience. How is it going to influence me? What does it mean to my life? I guess I’ll discover as life goes on.”

About losing 31 kgs for the film and the gruelling physical transformation

When asked about the physical transformation and losing some 31 kgs for the film, Sukumaran said, “In this case to get the look you just don’t eat. The idea was that I looked like somebody who does not have access to enough food, and was starving most of the time. The only way I could do that is to actually adopt that process, which means that my transformation was almost entirely based on fasting. At times, I used to fast for up to 72 hours. I would drink water and black coffee, but nothing else. When you push yourself that way, it no longer is a physical thing, it’s also mental. Humans are equipped to do two to three days of fasting. When you wake up the second day, your mind is telling you to just eat. And that is when the real challenge kicks in. The idea was to lose as much weight as I can but I think I shocked myself by losing 31 kgs. I was mentally prepared to lose so much weight once and I knew that it would take a toll on my health, my body. Doing it twice was unexpected but it happened naturally.”

About the music of the film and the idea of Hans Zimmer producing the music for it

When asked how they decided for AR Rahman to compose music for the Blessy film, Prithviraj Sukumaran said, “In 2009, I remember we had this conversation in my vanity van – we wanted either music director Hans Zimmer (Dune, Interstellar, Inception) or AR Rahman. And we actually thought we had a better chance of getting Hans Zimmer on board as Rahman had just won the Oscar and was in high demand. We mailed Hans Zimmer and they said they would be open to a meeting with us. Meanwhile, we also got a meeting with Rahman and we had a short 30-minute narration and he immediately said he was on board. I guess genius also comes with the ability to spot something special. Initially we were to have one song and the background score but now we have four songs. He has created an amazing score for the film. In fact, he came to the shooting spot in Jordan to experience that desert life – listening to the wind, the goats, etc. It’s so flattering to imagine that someone like AR Rahman, who I’m sure has 100 people waiting for him, would invest so much of his time and effort for one film. I think like all of us he must have sensed that this is such a special story. The songs are a smash hit in Kerala. But my favorite thing about the music in the film is the background score.”

About ‘The Goat Life’ being sent for the Oscars

When asked if they had the Oscars in mind and ‘The Goat Life’ will be sent for Oscars, Pirthiviraj Sukumaran said, “Of course, we’ve thought about it! It was like how we wanted to work with Hans Zimmer and Lionsgate for international distribution for this film. We always thought that this film should travel internationally. We would love it if this film is India’s entry to the Academy Awards next year. And if we win an Oscar, it would be absolutely amazing. But if it is a choice between an Academy Award and this film becoming a global blockbuster then it is the latter for me. People around the world are showing interest in wanting to showcase the film now. I am hoping that once the film releases that the conversation around it grows organically. More than anything I truly hope that people around the world discover this film.”



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