Location Diaries: Dance of a villain
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is Action
‘When he was signed up for director Sundar C's Action, Vedhalam-fame villain Kabir Duhan Singh thought he would just be a part of action sequences in the film, but he was in for a pleasant surprise. He was flown into Jaipur for a night shoot, and before wrapping up, director Sundar C told him that he would be shooting for a song sequence, the next day. “During narration, sir had not revealed this to me. I have never been part of a song in the 32 films I have acted in so far! I was stunned, and excited at the same time."
The next day, Kabir was ushered into a grand set of a house’s lavish interiors, and was in the midst of many dancers. “The song is about a family function, and I had to look happy. There were no heavy dance moments. I soon got into the groove and began enjoying myself. In fact, I even improvised, and added a few steps,” he says. This experience got him thinking. “Today, villains, like heroes, are tall, fit and stylish. We should probably have more songs pictured on them.”
He wasn’t always as much at ease with the action segments though. “This was a car chase in Jaipur, and I was in the passenger seat. The driver had to race through the narrow bazaar lanes at great speed. The lanes spilt into several narrow alleys. While the assistants had blocked the traffic, I was on tenterhooks, afraid of a mishap if anyone should dart in front of our vehicle. It was among the tensest chases I have been in."
His camaraderie with actor Vishal helped elevate the quality of the stunts, he says. “I was surprised to see Vishal, without starry airs, coming up to me and chatting like a friend, on our first meeting at Azerbaijan,” he says. “Every evening, we would discuss the stunt sequences over coffee and rehearse before the shoot. For an action film, it is vital that you trust the opponent because it is all about action and reaction. Stars are usually wary of being kicked and punched by mistake, but Vishal was cool and told me it was okay if a punch landed on him. I had the freedom not to hold back; that’s why you will see that our stunts look quite real."