Location Diaries: A horror comedy with a difference
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week, it is from Idiot
Shiva was a tad apprehensive when signing for the horror-comedy, Idiot, his first film in the genre. “I get frightened easily by eerie music and jump scares, but director Rambhala told me that in Idiot, it would be quite the opposite. I play a simpleton in this film who isn't afraid of ghosts. And so, the disappointed ghost begins to get scared of me instead. That convinced me to take this role up,” he says.
Though Shiva was looking forward to working with the star cast, the experience of shooting amid the pandemic wasn't easy. “It was a new experience for all of us. We had all been affected by the pandemic, and so, a sense of gloom was evident among us." But a few days into the shoot, something dawned on him. “It made me realise that during these tough times, everyone needed a good dose of humour and love, and the best way to do my bit was to keep people entertained,” says Shiva.
The pandemic caused other challenges during work on this film, a part of which was shot in Tenkasi. “We are used to large crowds while shooting outdoors but due to the Covid scare, nobody turned up to watch us shoot at Courtallam. In fact, instead, it was a large crowd of over 50 monkeys that watched over us. I was happy to have some onlookers at least," says Shiva, laughing. "But only later did I realise that the monkeys were not interested in our shoot but the food they could grab during our lunch breaks."
Shooting with Urvashi, who plays his mom, was a special experience for Shiva. "We had earlier worked together in Vanakkam Chennai, and I was looking forward to working with her again because I knew it would be both challenging and entertaining. She can play any character and get serious, emotional or funny at the drop of a hat. I knew that she would improvise a lot as well," says the actor, who feels it's important to sync well with your co-stars while doing a comedy. "Having worked with her before, luckily, our frequencies were well attuned. So, whenever she improvised, I was ready to play along, and go with the flow. All credit should go to director Rambhala who gave us full freedom to give our best. It led to some hilarious scenes in this film!"