Location Diaries: Chandhini Tamilarasan for Bommai- A Learning Experience
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week, it is from Bommai
Actor Chandini Tamilarasan was very excited to be part of director Radha Mohan's upcoming film, Bommai. Working with SJ Suryah and Radha Mohan offered her immense learning opportunities, which was a reason for interest in Bommai.
"Watching SJ Suryah sir at work taught me so much. Despite being a renowned director himself, he never interfered in Radha Mohan sir's work. He never gave any suggestions, nor questioned his decisions. He was a totally non-interfering actor. Since he was also the producer of the film, he was swamped with a lot of tension during the decision-making, but once in front of the camera, he became the character immediately. I admired this ability to switch on and switch off so quickly," says Chandini.
She also noticed the importance Suryah gave to rehearsals. "I thought he would be a spontaneous actor due to his experience and immense talent. But, before every shot I would see him prepare for it, rehearsing a dozen different ways of executing it. He would give his best shot in the first take itself. But he would add more takes, trying to better the previous ones. His dedication was amazing to watch."
While shooting for the film, Chandini also discovered another side of Suryah. "Off the sets, SJ Suryah sir was known to be very jovial with everyone. But even between shots, he would only be seen memorising lines, improvising, rehearsing, and completely staying in character. Only if the next scene was a lighter one, he would display his jovial side. Such commitment to his craft was very inspiring."
From director Radha Mohan, Chandini learned the intricacies and importance of expressions. "I've admired how expressive Jyotika ma'am was in his film, Mozhi. Radha Mohan sir would enact scenes before the filming, and it was a very exciting opportunity for me to watch and imitate him. He showed me how to be more expressive and creative with my facial movements. Incidentally, I was simultaneously shooting for Balaji Shaktivel sir's film where I had to be extremely subtle. So working on both aspects of the craft was such a fantastic learning curve for me."