Aishwarya Bachchan has a word with Mani Ratnam on the sets of Raavan.

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Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is sure that Mani Ratnam’s Raavan is the most challenging film she has done in her 13 years in Bollywood.

The 36-year-old actress talked about the experience of shooting for the film at it’s music launch in Bombay on April 24. “Raavan has been, by far, an extremely challenging (film), one hell of a discovery for all of us. (While shooting) we discovered new muscles in our body that we didn’t know existed; because every morning we would have a wake-up call at 5 am and then we would go trekking to our location.”

“We would get ourselves muddied, wet and cold, and only then get the first call of action from Mani,” said Aishwarya, who had to enact every shot twice over, as Mani Ratnam was shooting for both the Hindi and Tamil versions of Raavan simultaneously.

Abhishek Bachchan plays Beera Munda in Raavan.

Abhishek Bachchan, who gave a high-spirited performance at the music launch, joked about the hardships during the shooting. “As you know, Mani (Ratnam) allows me to go on sets, behave badly and get away with it. I had a rain song, which any Mani Ratnam film is not complete without. And we had Mani, behind the scenes, whipping us into shape. He kept saying, ‘Just make it real.’ You had snakes swimming around, leeches sticking on to you and he asks you to make it real!”

In the film, Aishwarya plays a classical dancer, Ragini, while Abhishek plays Beera, a multifaceted grey character. On speculations about the film being inspired by the Mahabharata, Abhishek said, “This film is not inspired by any epic. Beera’s different facets have been described as the dus sir (ten heads).”

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