Location Diaries: A dream, realised
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film, and this week it is Sei
On a bright day near Tenkasi, actor Nakkhul, playing an actor-turned-ambulance driver in his upcoming film Sei, was shooting for a stunt scene, amid windmills. Action choreographer Stunner Sam had instructed him to get into a giant tusker truck and wait for the shot to commence. “I was thrilled to sit inside it. I’d always dreamed of being in one. My first word as a baby was ‘lorry’. I also had a big collection of trucks and lorries through my childhood," says an excited Nakkhul.
But his joy was shortlived when he started driving it. "I thought I would just have to sit in it. But I was told to drive it and ram it into a jeep filled with stuntmen. I had no idea how to steer such a huge vehicle and was terrified of things going wrong.” He was given a few hours to learn from a lorry driver before the shoot. Despite the lesson, Nakkhul was still nervous. “The eight-gear system is complicated and the brake runs on a vacuum-filled cylinder that needs to be pumped quite a while before it can work. Fortunately, I managed to drive it without any incidents."
Just when he thought things had ended, he was asked to fight some stuntmen while being seated inside the close confines of the truck. He was also further asked to drive it through a barricade. “By the end of the shoot, I was almost cold in nervousness. My childhood obsession was completely destroyed. I now have great respect for bus and lorry drivers."