Now that he is playing the role of that compassionate Sai Baba of Shirdi, Akkineni Nagarjuna thinks he should behave like an ascetic in real life so that the inner calm and sattwika lifestyle reflects itself when he is on the sets, playing the role. In pursuance of this goal, he has given up on eating meat, to quote just an example.
The actor has been keeping low-profile ever since the release of Rajanna. Nag's near total absence in a promotional event after the release of his home production, and his preoccupation with K Raghavendra Rao's film is well-known. Days into the release of Rajanna, his mother's unfortunate demise left him passive.
Nag being the son of a disciplined and experienced actor like ANR, wants to make sure that he pulls off an Annamayya this time. This film is perhaps more important than Rajanna for him. This is easily one of the top five toughest roles in his career.