It pains me to see people throwing garbage on the road: Dinesh
The choreographer-turned-actor talks about his recently released film Oru Kuppai Kathai
From Vijay, Ajith, Suriya, Dhanush, Vishal and Karthi to Pawan Kalyan, Mahesh Babu, Jr NTR and Allu Arjun, ace choreographer Dinesh master has worked with them all. Winner of the National Award for Best Dance Choreography for Aadukalam, he has won several accolades in his career. So, what made him turn actor for the recently released Oru Kuppai Kathai?
“Director Kaali saw me at Ameer’s office one time and asked me if I would act. I refused because I couldn’t see myself as an actor. I thought I didn’t have the personality to carry a film as hero,” he says. But seeing Kaali’s conviction, he decided to hear the story. Based on the life of a conservancy worker, it had an unusual emotional connect which touched a chord and made him say yes.
But things were far from easy. He had to shoot for three weeks in the slums around the Cooum, where his character lives. “You cannot even imagine the type of trash and stench amid which people live their daily lives there. The conditions are really horrible. Hats off to the garbage collectors who live there and do their duty each day. Without them clearing the trash we create, some of us, privileged folk, wouldn’t be able to survive.”
To train for his role, he had to learn how to clear garbage on the streets, along with co-star Yogi Babu. “For around ten days, Yogi Babu and I went around the city in the garbage vans, clearing trash from the roads. The workers taught us the ropes. Like them, we too had to take vaccinations to protect us against infections.” The toughest part, he says, was hanging on to the back of the garbage trucks. “We had to hold on to the bars on either side. Whenever the truck hit a speed breaker, it would make us lose balance. There was a particular trick to stay on without falling off, which the workers taught us. We practised for half a day before eventually getting the hang of it.”
Working on this film has left a deep impact on him. “Now when I see anyone throwing garbage on the roads, it upsets me. I have experienced first hand what the workers go through every day. So I tell people to be more responsible.”
Will he continue to act in the future? “If I get an emotional story like this one, sure. I don’t want to act in commercial films for the heck of it.”