Location Diaries: From TikTok to Tiki-Taka
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is Champion
When TikTok sensation Mirnalini Ravi, who debuted in Super Deluxe, came to the sets of Champion, she was pleasantly surprised. "After working with director Thiagarajan Kumararaja, I felt I was ready to face any situation since we were used to being thoroughly prepared as actors. So on the first day of Champion shoot, I came well prepared with my dialogues. But I was also a little anxious," she recalls.
But director Suseenthiran was not the hard taskmaster she was expecting. "He came up to me and Vishwa (the male lead) and explained that as newcomers, there were bound to be goof ups. He insisted that there was no need to panic because that would only impact our performance. So he told us to just relax and take things as they come. This came as such a relief to both of us and our nervousness eased considerably. Kumararaja was very friendly but also very strict. Here, we were pampered thoroughly."
Though she knew her dialogues, Suseenthiran showed her a different way of delivering them. "He told me to say the lines the way I would if I were really that person. That way, the whole feel behind the words came out very realistically. When in doubt, he would act out scenes and show us."
Another feature that was novel for her was the shoot timings. Suseenthiran was strict about punctuality, so shoots always began and ended on time. "He felt that if an actor got tired, it would immediately reflect on the face and the performance. So he would make sure he took the output from his actors before they were drained. He wanted his actors to look fresh and be energetic as long as we were on sets. Thus he made sure shoots were never extended beyond the fixed hours each day. After this experience, I feel Suseenthiran is the best director for newcomers."
Playing a college girl, she had to shoot at a college near the Marina beach. "My cousin was studying there, so I had a great time between shots. Most students had exams so there were no crowds. Shooting there only added to my comfort levels since it was so much fun. I didn't feel the pressures of work while shooting for Champion at all."