The most demanding stunt sequence of my life
... says Bharath, on a breathtaking action setpiece he recently shot for Murugadoss' Spyder, in which he plays the villain
AR Murugadoss-Mahesh Babu film, Spyder, is fast nearing completion. The director created quite a buzz when he announced that SJ Suryah and Bharath would play the baddies in the film. It's a return to villainy for Bharath after his role in Chellamey. "That was in 2003. Now, after so many years, I’m playing a villain again, and I agreed solely because I wanted to be associated with a Murugadoss film, no matter the role. I have the greatest regard for him as a director," says an elated Bharath.
The actor has shot many action scenes for the film, but one, in particular, stands out for him. He says, "It's a solo action sequence with Mahesh Babu in Vietnam. We fight atop a giant roller coaster. It’s a highlight in the film. As a hero, I’ve done many stunts in my career, but this one is by far the most challenging." The film's unit reportedly travelled to Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi to shoot this sequence choreographed by National Award-winning Peter Hein. “Originally, we planned to go to Abu Dhabi, and later, China, because of the huge roller coasters available there. But we couldn’t get permission," says Bharath.
The action sequence was mostly shot at midnight, he says. Bharath says he had to undergo a lot of training to be able to do this scene. "We first had to get used to the speed at which the roller coaster was moving. We needed a firm hold, and even while we were trying not to fall off, we needed to make sure our expressions were right. There were also other factors like the wind speed, and the changing camera angles that we had to keep in mind. For the cinematographer Santhosh Sivan too, it was challenging to co-ordinate with us," he says. "In fact, Santhosh Sivan thinks that Peter Hein will get another National Award for this sequence." Bharath and Mahesh Babu had to reportedly rehearse for almost two hours each day, before the shot. "Any mistakes would mean retakes and we certainly didn’t want the extra rides!" he laughs.
The relaxed atmosphere on the sets of Spyder helped him give his best, he says. "It is shot as a bilingual (Tamil and Telugu). Mahesh speaks fluent Tamil, but it took me time to get my Telugu dialogues right. He would always wait patiently and never rush me," he says. "The set of a Murugadoss film is a very relaxed place. He is precise about what he wants, and once he conveys that, he lets you do the rest."