Location Diaries: Nandita Swetha — Canine love and camaraderie

This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week, Nandita Swetha talks about her experience shooting for Raththam
Location Diaries: Nandita Swetha — Canine love and camaraderie

While shooting for the Vijay Antony starrer Raththam, directed by CS Amudhan, actor Nandita Swetha's portions were entirely filmed in a giant office set in a Chennai studio.

"It was the first time I shot in just one single location for my film. It was a new experience, coming to work on the same set for several weeks. But I thoroughly enjoyed it because it was so slick and realistic, it looked like a real media office, with glass doors, cabins, fancy fittings, giant TVs, computers and the works. It made me get into my character of a journalist instantly, it looked that realistic," says Nandita. The actor got so attached to the film set that she started missing it after the filming was done. "In fact, after the shoot was completed, when I heard that the set was going to be torn apart, I actually got emotional. I felt it could be preserved and rented out as a real office," she says.

Due to the glass doors and fancy furniture, Vijay Antony and other actors had to be careful so that they did not end up damaging the fragile set properties. Moreover, the actors had to be extra careful while filming for the stunt sequences, which were being choreographed by Dhilip Subbarayan.

Nandita didn't need a vanity van as there were specially made rooms for the actors, located a few metres away from the set. She says, "During breaks, I would chat with Vijay Antony, Amudhan sir and the unit members. It was a very relaxed atmosphere. Vijay Antony shared a fun fact with me, recalling how both of us had debuted in Kollywood in the same year." Nandita made her Tamil debut with Attakathi in 2012 while Vijay Antony made his acting debut in the same year with Naan.

She further reveals how Amudhan did not give her any prep for her role. "On the first day when I asked for instructions, he told me to just be myself on screen as a bold and confident person. This role is different from my previous ones and I feel it will change people's perception about my acting range."

Her first shot had a long dialogue. "After I completed my shot, Nizhalgal Ravi sir complimented me. He appreciated how I got into the character effortlessly. Receiving an appreciation from such a veteran actor like  him felt really special."

Memories of the shoot became special for another reason as well. "Since I was going to be shooting in Chennai for so many days, I brought my few months old Shih Tzu puppy, Kushi, along with me. During breaks, the crew members would gather in my room to play with Kushi. When Nizhalgal Ravi sir found out about Kushi, he too shared anecdotes about his own Shih Tzu at home. Kushi was a cute bundle of energy loved by all. I was devastated when Kushi passed away a few months later in an accident. Whenever I think of Raththam, the sweet memories of those days with my pet flood my mind."

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