Location Diaries: Revathy Sharma - Heat, Dust and Inspiration

This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week, actor Revathy Sharma talks about her experience shooting for Garudan
Location Diaries: Revathy Sharma - Heat, Dust and Inspiration

To play a village girl in the Soori-starrer Garudan, actor Revathy Sharma travelled to the scenic locales of Theni for the shoot.

"This was my first time shooting in Theni. We had a lot of night shoots, held mostly outdoors. Filming in the presence legends like Sasikumar sir, Vetrimaaran sir, Soori, Unni Mukundan and Vadivukkarasi ma'am was both enjoyable and a learning experience for me," says Revathy. During the short breaks before the shots, she mentions that she enjoyed listening to the friendly banter between the stars. "They made everyone laugh, shared their previous film experiences and made the atmosphere come alive with their presence. Those were truly unforgettable moments."

For one particular scene, the actors had to shoot a village festival scene at 2 am amidst a large crowd. "It was not easy," she asserts. "With the large gathering, multiple massive festival lights placed alongside other lights required by the camera team, it became extremely hot."

It was doubly challenging to shoot amidst the crowd as more retakes were needed for the crew. "Sometimes people would push through the crowds to reach the actors and be next to them in the frame. They would also turn and look at the camera. We had to stop filming and go for retakes every time this happened." In another instance, when Revathy shot for a sombre funeral scene amidst a crowd, many takes were required, "Although we were shooting a serious scene, some in the frame amidst the crowd would inadvertently look happy instead of mourning."

Revathy also recalls her experience shooting inside a brick kiln for two days for a stunt scene, "I had to be dragged and dropped on the ground, which had several layers of brick ash. I was covered in sand and ash the whole time. It became even more dusty when fans and smoke had to be used for the stunt scene. Dust, sand and ash flew all around. It was boiling hot inside the kiln as well."

During breaks, Revathy couldn't rest in her vanity van, as she was careful to not the couch as it would get covered in ash. "I would sit on a chair, wash my hands and eat. For the next shot, more ash was smeared on my clothes, hands and face for continuity purposes," she says.

Speaking about her experience working with actor Soori, she explains, "He was very down-to-earth with no airs. Despite his seniority as an actor, I noticed how respectfully he treated everyone on the set. He is also extremely good at what he does. I observed how he would ask a lot of sensible and detailed questions to the director, to get deeper into the skin of the character, even when he had no dialogue in a scene. Watching him do this, I discovered how many layers a character can have. It was a huge learning experience."

Soori was also very encouraging when she had a tongue-twister of a dialogue to deliver for a scene. "He even rehearsed the scene with me, to make things easier," Revathy notes.

She also discovered a surprising connection with Soori when he spoke about his restaurant to her, "It was very inspiring to see how he is balancing being an actor and a restaurateur. For an actor like me, who has a degree in culinary arts, he is indeed a role model, igniting a dream of perhaps being able to follow both my passions one day!"

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