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Location Diaries: Smiling in the face of danger- Cinema express

Location Diaries: Smiling in the face of danger

This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is Mehandi Circus 

Published: 28th January 2019

For Masaan-fame Shweta Tripathi, shooting for her Tamil debut Mehandi Circus  has been a series of interesting experiences.

She recalls when she was shooting in Kodaikanal, and had to wait for her scene, as debutant hero Madhampetty Rangarajan was finishing his. But being new to the field, he took a while. She was asked to wait in her vanity van until then, and as many as six hours passed before she got her turn. “Rangarajan was profusely apologetic,” says Shweta. In fact, he didn’t just stop with an apology. “He came to know that we all had planned an evening out to savour the famous biriyani at a nearby dhaba. He requested us not to go to the dhaba and instead, promised to cook a special biriyani for us the next day!”

Coming from a family of renowned wedding caterers, Rangarajan, unknown to the cast, is an expert cook. “He personally fetched all the ingredients and made delicious biriyani for the entire set and served it to all of us at lunch. It was a totally new experience for  me, to see a hero going to such lengths for his colleagues.”

To play Mehandi, a circus girl and a participant in the knife-throwing act, Shweta had to prepare herself. “Though the knives thrown towards me were made of cardboard, they had sharp edges. Whenever they were thrown towards me, I had to ensure I didn’t blink or duck, which are natural reactions. Instead, I had to look calm, and poised all the time. The immense trust I had in actor Ankur Vikal helped me through those shots.”

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