Location Diaries: Sleeping beauty - Riya Suman for Manmatha Leelai
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week, it is from Manmatha Leelai
For director Venkat Prabhu's Manmatha Leelai, co-starring Ashok Selvan, Riya Suman performed her first-ever stunt sequence. "Selva master choreographed our action sequence, and doing stunts was a completely new experience for me. It was only while filming those scenes that I realised the importance of coordination among actors and stuntmen. We had to sync our timing perfectly or else, it would have led to several retakes. Luckily for me, Selva master was patient and understanding."
On the sets, the crew helped her with Tamil dialogues as well. "My colleagues would also show interest in picking up Hindi vocabulary from me. When I first met Ashok Selvan on sets, he struck up a conversation and recited popular Hindi dialogues from Don. I corrected him in a few places and we had a fun exchange thereafter. The conversation served as an ice breaker between us."
She made a new discovery about herself while shooting for this film. For one shot, she had to close her eyes, and look like she was asleep. "During the take, I thought I was looking blissfully asleep. Only when I saw the monitor, I noticed how my eyeballs kept fluttering all through. I was just not at peace and regardless of how much I tried, I could not look asleep on camera! Finally, Venkat sir said he would freeze the frame and use some cinematic techniques to give the impression that I was asleep!"
On the last day of the shoot, which was held at a bungalow on the outskirts of Chennai. During lunch, a particular gesture of the crew left a deep impression on Riya. "Aishwarya, the CEO of the Black Ticket company was only eating millets and avoiding rice. When I asked her the reason, she revealed that till a particular wish was fulfilled, she had given up rice. Venkat sir also shared that he had similarly given up a favourite food item. After hearing these stories, I even considered giving up something, but I'm yet to figure it out," Riya signs off.