Location Diaries: A dream debut
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week, it is Enna Solla Pogirai
Avantika's upcoming film Enna Solla Pogirai gave the actor opportunities to do things that she always wanted to. "It has always been a dream to shoot for a rain song. My Telugu films hadn't given me the opportunity, and when I got to do it in my first Tamil film, I was excited. Brindha master choreographed it while Bombay Jayashri sang the track; so, I knew the song would be aesthetically executed," says Avantika.
On the day of the shoot, Avantika arrived at a massive set created for the song. "There was a beautiful courtyard filled with water that I had to splash around with ballerina-like movements. The song involved me dancing with the film's lead Ashwin, while artificial rain drenched us." But a few minutes into the shoot, she realised that dancing in such conditions was easier said than done. "The ground became slippery, and I fell a few times. I landed painfully on my knees one time, and on another occasion, I bruised my arms. So regular that it became that after a while, I began laughing at myself each time I fell."
Another scene features her in a bathtub. "As I'm quite tall, I didn't fit completely in the tub. My feet protruded out, and I ended up scraping my toenails." It was only after wrapping up the day’s shoot and returning to her hotel room, that Avantika realised that her toes were, in fact, bleeding, and that her arms and legs had bruises and blood clots as well. "The next day, we had to cover the bruises with makeup before shooting. I wore the bruises as a badge of honour."
She also remembers shooting a scene in T Nagar at nighttime when the cast and crew didn't expect to get noticed. "Ashwin Kumar, Pugazh, Teju Ashwini and I had to shoot at an evening market for a montage song for just a few minutes. As we started shooting, we noticed a crowd gathering. But soon, the numbers began growing, and people started to recognise us." It apparently became difficult to continue and the actors had to run to their cars as they started getting mobbed. "It's wonderful when actors, especially debutants, get recognised. But such unexpected public adulation, even before the release of a film, can get overwhelming. I couldn’t have asked for more."