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Location Diaries: A sporting gesture- Cinema express

Location Diaries: A sporting gesture

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

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Published: 29th July 2019

Director –turned-actor M Sasikumar had to learn the nuances of Kabaddi in order to play the role of a Kabaddi coach in Kennedy Club. He reveals that his character is named Selvam and is based on a real person—the friend of Suseenthiran’s father. For some of the shots, he took part in real matches and had to act like a coach would. “Real Kabaddi players from places like Madurai and Thanjavur participated in the shoot. We hosted real matches with as many as 12 cameras capturing them,” says Sasikumar. “Amid all this, I had to deliver my lines. We knew we couldn’t afford retakes. It was hard for me as I had to remember all the players, including substitutes, and call out to them. This made for a totally new experience for me.”

Director Suseenthiran made him learn the sport in Oddanchatram, where much of the action took place. This went on both before and after the shoot. “I practised in the evening with local school teams, and learned that it was tougher to play the sport in the village,” he says. That’s because the sport is played on muddy surfaces there, while at the district level, players use mat surfaces. “Naturally, I had a lot of a falls and bruises, and also contend with the mud flying about. To be fair though, the mud actually reduced the impact of my falls.”

He is quite happy about the experience. “For an actor, it’s important to get into the skin of the character. Apart from being the coach in the film, there’s also a flashback portion that shows me actually playing the game. So, it all came in quite handy.”

 

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