Vishnu, the young actor who got noticed in his debut film Vennila Kabaddi Kuzhu, is now back several films later, with another realistic performance in Red Giant’s Neerparavai directed by Seenu Ramasamy. The actor who plays a drunk fisherman from the 1980’s talks about what went into the making of the film and takes us behind the scenes into his performance..
Tell us about your role in the film.
I play Arulappa Samy, a drunken youth who lives in a fishing village. He falls in love with Esther, an orphan girl and how his life takes a complete turn is the story.
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You’re a city bred guy. How was it transforming yourself into a fisherman?
This was one movie I just waiting to start work on! I loved the script from day one! For me, this is one unforgettable experience. I got completely involved in the script and whatever physical hardships came, we endured with ease. We didn’t do any rehearsals at all. We shot in Manapaad and the beaches nearby. As per Seenu sir’s advice, I would wander along the shore, observing the fishemen and their body language and getting used to the salt water on my skin. I got a deep tan and my skin began to peel off during the shoot! I learnt to handle a catamaran and would go fishing early morning with the fishermen. All this helped me get into character I guess. In fact, one day, I was walking on the beach in local costume and my wife who was AD in the film, didn’t recognize me in the crowd! I learnt to live with the sea and sand. In fact even after five washes with Dettol, the sand could still be found on our bodies !
You had to put on and lose weight as well?
Yes, the film has two looks for me. So I had to put on weight and then lose it in 20 days !
How was it working with Sunaina?
She is very dedicated. For hours she had to be standing amongst the salty waves in the sun, but she never hesitated for a moment. It was not easy, getting hit by the large waves under the hot sun…
How was it working with a National Award winner like Seenu Ramasamy? He has praised your work in the film…
Whatever you see on screen is because of him. I am happy he got out my best from me and transformed me into the character.
He was very strict to get what he wanted. But he also gave us a lot of freedom. It was a huge learning experience.