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Location Diaries - Mahima Nambiar for Naadu: Weather woes in the hills- Cinema express

Location Diaries - Mahima Nambiar for Naadu: Weather woes in the hills 

This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week, it is from Naadu

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Published: 15th November 2022

Filming for director M Saravanan's Naadu took Mahima Nambiar to Kollimalai. Describing the terrain, the Oh My Dog-actor says, “It was a scenic place with equally wonderful weather. However, shooting the entire film for several weeks in that weather was not an easy task."

Mahima reveals that director Saravanan was quite particular about her look and make-up and this meant she had to wake up at 4 am to get her hair and make-up which took two and half hours to perfect. And the weather was, naturally, a challenge. “It used to be super chilly in the mornings, highly sunny in the afternoon and extremely windy and cold in the evenings." Another major issue faced by the actors due to the weather conditions at that high altitude was skin dryness. "During the first few days, my skin was fine, but soon, the cameraman noticed that it was drying up, rendering the makeup uneven and cakey. That alarmed me. So I had to spend 30 minutes after the shoot applying layers of moisturisers, using sunscreen during the day and keeping myself hydrated. Several cast members would come and ask me for tips on how to look fresh. But it was a huge task."

Her costumes included skirts, scarves and tops, she says managing them in the windy weather proved quite a task. "For one particular shot, I had to walk uphill in a short skirt with a scarf on my neck, carrying a handbag and wearing sunglasses. The director wanted me to look poised and walk in a classy manner." But the team was unaware of the extremely thorny path. "It was quite difficult to take even one step forward, but I had to somehow walk through those thorns while maintaining a dignified look and managing my attire as the chilly winds blew all around me. It was a, indeed, a difficult shot."

One day, while curling her hair for a shot, Mahima suffered a burn on her cheek. "I was in a complete panic about the burn leaving a permanent mark on my face. So I had to get it treated immediately. Since our location was remote, I wasn’t even sure if I would find any dermatologist nearby." Mahima decided to call her dermatologist in Chennai but she had to travel 30 minutes to reach a spot that picked a mobile network. "I made a video call and showed my doctor the mark. She suggested an ointment, but it was not available at any pharmacy in Kollimalai. Finally, I arranged for someone to courier me the ointment from Chennai." But it took two days for the parcel to reach her and in the meanwhile, she found some respite when her make-up man applied an alternative cream which proved helpful. "With the lingering fear of a permanent scar on my face, it was a scary time during that shoot!"

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