An all-new Gautham Karthik in Rangoon
The actor talks about his stringent make up schedule and the other challenges he had to overcome
Gautham Karthik had to undergo a complete makeover to play the role of a Tamil repatriate from Burma in the upcoming film, Rangoon. First, he had to get his skin darkened. “I had to do the same for Kadal, but there, I had time to tan myself naturally in the sun. But for Rangoon, we went directly into the shoot, and so, I had to be tanned artificially, with dark-colored full body make-up,” says Gautham. But this was easier said than done. “We had decided the shade for my skin and started shooting, but my skin started tanning naturally. So, every few days, we had to keep changing the original shade.”
He observes wryly that heroines usually took a long time to get their look right, but in the case of Rangoon, he took just as long, if not longer. Gautham says, "Usually, I take 10 minutes for hair and make-up, but for Rangoon, I was always the first to arrive and the last to leave from the sets! For a 6am shoot, I would be there at 4 am to start the make-up. I had to grow my hair longer and get it curled too. The look alone took at least two hours everyday.”
For 70 days of the film's shoot, he says he had to endure this. "Even when I reached home by midnight, I would have to get rid of all the cream products and gel from my hair. It wasn't just me, of course; all the make-up staff had to manage with such a stringent schedule,” he says.
Set in North Madras in the early 2000’s, Rangoon is directed by debutant Rajkumar Periasamy, a former assistant to AR Murgadoss. Gautham says, “The film is about Tamils who have returned from Burma, and how they try to make a living in Chennai.” For the part, the actor had to learn a bit of Burmese, and train himself to speak Tamil as the Burmese do. "I also learned how to fix gold ornaments for the role," he says. “A goldsmith came to the sets to teach me this. And now, I can repair any gold ornament!"