Location Diaries: Not a no-frills experience
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is from the floors of Cinderella
Shooting in Kodaikanal for the horror-thriller, Cinderella, turned out to be a rather cumbersome experience for Raai Laxmi, for a reason that caught her by surprise. The actor sports three looks in the film, and for one of them, she had to wear a flouncy, layered Cinderella-type gown that was custom-designed by a Mumbai designer. “I think it is the most expensive costume I have worn in my career. As a little girl, I dreamt of wearing such gowns. So, I was really looking forward to wearing it, and transported it in my baggage from Mumbai to Kodai.” The gown apparently weighed a whopping 22 kilos!
“I was literally weighed down by it!” she says, laughing. “In between shots, several assistants had to hold it up, so I could try and move around. And yet, at the end of each day, I was in a lot of pain.”
The gown design also made it hard for her to sit down. “It wouldn’t fit in a normal chair! When I tried sitting on a stool, it fell under the weight. I couldn’t sit on the floor, of course, because that would result in the gown getting dirtied. So, I had to stand on the sets the whole day.”
As if this were not hard enough, she apparently had to do stunt sequences as well, while wearing the gown and some heavy prosthetics. “It was nearly impossible to eat anything during those days. In addition, body tattoos were being designed on me as well. I had to reach the location three hours earlier than the others every day.”
Thankfully, director Vinoo Venkatesh was sympathetic to her plight, she says. “He gave me longer lunch breaks and shot other scenes before mine, so I could rest longer in my car. Somehow, I found a way to climb into the backseat of my car, with all the gathered frills placed on my lap.”
Relief came in the form of the hill station’s cold weather. “I love the weather there, so I quite enjoyed shooting amid the scenic locales. Between the shots at night, we would all sit around a bonfire and exchange stories.”