Location Diaries: Something fishy on the sets of Richie
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film
When popular actor-cinematographer, Natty aka Nataraj Subramaniam, signed up for Gautham Ramachandran’s Richie, he was hardly prepared for the adventure that the shoot would prove to be.
Natty, who plays a boat mechanic in the film, spent a lot of his time shooting on the eashore of Tuticorin. At all times, huge crowds thronged the shooting area, thanks to the popularity of Nivin Pauly, the film’s hero. “Some of them were also familiar with my films like Sathuranga Vettai, and so, they would come and talk to us in-between shots. But this was all expected.”
What, however, was unexpected was the locals bringing local delicacies for the actors. “They brought in many dabbas full of fish curries and rice. But alas, I am a vegetarian!” he says. And yet, Natty says he couldn’t refuse. “I would take just the rice and leave the fish for Nivin and the others in the unit,” laughs Natty.
While he may not have eaten fish, he, however, took to the Tuticorin sea like one. He recalls one particular incident: “The scene demanded that I jump from one boat to another very fast. They got me a boatman to teach me how I should, and thankfully, I pulled it off well.” Natty says his athletic training in school came in handy. “It’s not easy to get a foothold on a swaying boat! The boatman taught me how to wait and step on the next boat only as it goes down. It’s all about timing,” he adds.
Once he was ready to do the scene though, a problem arose which put a spanner in their works for a while. “For the shot, the entire unit was in boats around me, right in the middle of the sea. It was a full moon day, which meant that the tide was high, and the sea rougher than usual. And just as I prepared to absorb the beauty of the location, most of the unit members around me begam throwing up into the sea, on account of all the swaying.” The team then had to stop the shoot urgently, and treat those who were sick before they could continue.
“It isn’t every day that an actor sees something like that. Richie has given me some unforgettable experiences,” he says.