Location Diaries: Street Tales- Varsha Bollamma for Selfie
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week, it is from Selfie
While shooting for the GV Prakash-starrer Selfie, actor Varsha Bollamma had to shoot several scenes in the crowded streets of Triplicane, Chennai. "I was visiting the area for the first time. Although the lanes were crowded, the people were disciplined. Nobody disturbed us while shooting. They used to approach us only after we completed shoot for the day. The place had a positive energy and vibe. Those were pre-covid times, so there was no need to mask up like now," says Varsha. She also got to taste local delicacies, thanks to her co-star. "GV Prakash knew a place from where he ordered samosas and lassi for us. It is the most delicious lassi I have ever tasted.
For once, I didn't count my calories and gorged on it daily." Shooting inside a confined space, like a small house, was apparently a new experience for Varsha. "The rooms were small so it was quite a task to place the cameras. At times, the cameraman had to squeeze himself behind the camera to shoot. We also had to place extra lights to shoot in a few dim places, adding to the space crunch." If that wasn't enough, Varsha got hit accidentally while filming a stunt sequence. "It was supposed to be a fake slap like it's usually done in such scenes. But since the stuntman was inexperienced, he missed his timing and didn't swing his hand away from me fast enough as he was supposed to. As a result, he ended up actually slapping me on my cheek. It was so sudden and painful that I actually fell down under the impact." Everyone rushed to her aid and the stuntman apologised. "I felt embarrassed for falling down in front of everyone. The whole unit and director Madhimaaran, however, were so understanding and helpful that I soon got over it. Luckily, the take was fine and we didn't have to reshoot it."
The shooting also gave Varsha an opportunity to relive her school days as she filmed some portions inside a large bus, packed with people. "Those scenes were shot inside the moving vehicle on the outskirts of Chennai. The bus would only stop occasionally for breaks or for changing the camera lens. It's been a very long time since I've enjoyed a bus ride. The fun vibes reminded me of my school days. It was like moving back in time for those few hours," she concludes.