Location Diaries: A heroic attempt
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is Hero
When Kalyani Priyadarshan signed up for Hero, her Tamil debut opposite Sivakarthikeyan, little did she know that she would have to break a cardinal rule set at home from childhood. Her father, ace director Priyadarshan had let her use all modes of transport -- cars, bus, autos or even bicycles. The one barred thing was riding a motor bike or scooter, even on the pillion.
"Many of his close friends had suffered grevious injuries and serious accidents while riding a bike. So as a parent, he wanted to ensure my safety and avoid any such instances in my life," Kalyani explains.
To her surprise, two days before the actual shot, she was informed she had to ride a scooter for a scene in Hero. "Since I knew how to ride a bicycle I managed to pick up the basics. But the roads I learnt on at T Nagar, were smooth. Nothing prepared me for the actual shoot at EVP." For the shot, she had to ride the scooter at a certain speed, give the right expressions and also avoid damaging the mic and camera mounted on a bike in front of her. To add to her woes, the mud road was extremely bumpy. "All of this only made me more anxious. And in my nervousness, I accelerated and braked almost simultaneously! There was total mayhem and I just missed hitting the team by a whisker," Kalyani recounts.
Understanding Kalyani's inexperience, director PS Mithran decided to attach trainer wheels, one on either side of the scooter for better balance, in another scene. Also, everyone present on spot was warned to not come too close to Kalyani's vehicle as it was her first attempt riding a scooter.
"I had to speed up for a few seconds and then hit the brake. But the bike was now heavier with the extra wheels and the bumpy road made balancing even more difficult. Trying to handle it all, I accelerated too fast." Things turned chaotic in a split second, and people on unit began running helter skelter, screaming, in a bid to get away. "As I drove head straight into a small wall before hitting the brakes. Everyone had a narrow escape and luckily, nobody was injured. Later, we all saw the humour in the mishap and had a good laugh," she says.
Ironically, Kalyani will soon encounter two-wheelers again, a bike this time, in her next with Dulquer Salmaan. "But I had 10 days to learn and now I'm fully prepared. I haven't told my father yet about this whole experience and he'll get a huge surprise when he watches me on screen in Hero," she signs off.