Walking the Veeram Talk with Thala
Published: 09th January 2014 10:53 AM |
Even established actors in Kollywood would give an arm and a leg to spend a single day on set with Thala Ajith. So cricketer Suhail Chandhok couldn’t believe his luck when he realised he had scored a ‘century’ with the star – spending 100 days on the sets of Thala’s Pongal release Veeram.
While the story of how Suhail’s father Ricky Chandhok sent the star a YouTube video of his son’s acting is now common knowledge, it turns out that the most memorable part of the Veeram experience for Suhail was actually not on set, but off. “I think it was sort of a bro-mance between the actors who play the five brothers in the film,” he smiles.
Incidentally, Suhail plays Ajith’s youngest brother Kumaran who, he admits, shares a special dynamic with Ajith (the eldest).
Of course, the bonding time with ‘Ajith sir’ is what the debutante actor really cannot stop raving about. “I remember one night we were at Ramoji Film City, and Ajith came up to me and said, ‘Suhail come let’s go for a walk.’” What was intended to be a short time out, turned into a three-hour expedition, the actor recalls. “Ajith and I walked the entire stretch I think, and he pointed out every single place he had shot at... “
It was this that made Suhail, brother of former F1 racer Karun Chandhok, feel completely at home, and not in the least like a newcomer.
One has to imagine it was scary though, being put alongside Ajith right from day one? “I guess the first day it was scary, because everyone who heard I was doing the film would repeatedly ask me the same question. Half an hour spent with Ajith and director Siva, and my feeling did a complete U-turn,” he says.
Given Suhail’s background in theatre from his school days, it’s understandable that the acting came naturally. But what about the dancing? “Oh I was jittery about that at first, you don’t want to get a move wrong and make a fool of yourself in front of everybody!”
To gear up for his role, Suhail even hired dance and boxing trainers to come to his house for a few hours every day. “But I think in the end the audience will have to decide what they think of my moves,” he says with a laugh.