Location Diaries: Ajmal for Theergadharishi- Reel Vs Real

This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week, it is from Theergadharishi
Location Diaries: Ajmal for Theergadharishi- Reel Vs Real

Actor Ajmal plays a police officer in the upcoming film Theergadharishi and he recalls some unforgettable experiences shooting for the film. 

Ajmal and the unit travelled to a small village between Chennai and Pondicherry for one segment. The scene was to be canned at a small railway station there. The team got permission to shoot from 9 am to 6 pm. But due to an unforeseen delay, the shoot could begin only at noon. So Ajmal waited in his vanity van. "When the shot was ready, I arrived on set in my cop uniform. There was a large crowd. Police were on the spot to keep things under control. We were already pressed for time. Director duo LR Sundarapamdi and PG Mohan had to can the scene at a crucial juncture in co-ordination with a passing train," says Ajmal.

For the shot, Ajmal had to interact with another cop standing next to him. "He had to just reply to my instructions in two sentences. However, for several takes, he couldnt get the lines right and we had to reshoot. I tried making him comfortable and explained to him politely that he should just put in a little more effort to deliver the dialogue. He nodded and the fourth take was perfect," Ajmal recalls.

Only later, when the director took him aside and explained, Ajmal learnt the truth. "Actually, everyone was hesitant to say anything to him because, the person I had advised was not an actor but a real senior police officer! He had come for crowd control and since he was a movie buff, they had included him in the frame amongst the other actors in cop uniforms. By chance it so happened that he had been standing next to me, where another actor was supposed to be! Later, I went and met him, to explain that since I hadnt been on sets before the shot, I didn't know about any of this. So, I had mistaken him for an actor. He was very understanding and took everything very sportive. He even told me he loved my movies."

Ajmal had stunt scenes involving both guns and hand combat. The gunfights reminded Ajmal of his childhood. "As kids, when we played with toy guns with friends, we would make loud 'tak tak tak' sounds verbally. Now, as an actor when I was doing shootout scenes with my co-stars, I wasn't disturbed by the fake gunshot sounds blasting my ears, all around me. I was more focused on my next move and reactions. But it did transport me back to my childhood and those days of make- believe!"

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