Location Diaries: Talent generation
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is Dharaala Prabhu
Harish Kalyan is upbeat about acting alongside veterans during the making of his upcoming film, Dharaala Prabhu, the remake of Vicky Donor. While Sachu plays his grandmother, Vivekh plays a doctor (played by Annu Kapoor in the Hindi original) in Dharaala Prabhu. “It felt surreal to be shooting with them. It struck me that three generations of actors were in the same frame. I told this to Vivekh sir and he smiled in agreement," says Harish.
He admits to having learned a lot from both actors. "I was amazed at Sachu ma'am’s energy and agility, despite her age. She would climb stairs in a jiffy if the shot demanded that. She was open to retakes too. She would add these little comical touches to her performance,” he says.
Vivekh is well-known for his tree-planting drives, which Harish says he was inspired by. “So moved was I by what he’s doing that I celebrated my birthday by planting trees in a government school." There was a lot of learning in the acting department too, he says. He was apparently surprised when Vivekh asked him if they could rehearse a few long scenes before going for the take. "I have done rehearsal workshops for other films before, but this was the first time a senior actor suggested it to me. His dedication was amazing. He would come fully prepared with his lines and give me small inputs that lifted the scenes to another level. Our comic timing and dialogue delivery was in sync, and we gave the entire shot in just one or two takes, saving so much time.”
Interestingly, Harish didn’t even recognise Vivekh on the first day of their shoot. “I was waiting for him to arrive, and there was no one around except for an old man. After a long wait, I asked my assistant when Vivekh could arrive, and that was when I learned that the old man was Vivekh,” says Harish. “I told him about this and we had a hearty laugh at how with just a wig and a ‘soda buddi kannadi’, he looked so different.”