A new lesson every day, says Mugen Rao about his latest film
The young actor feels fortunate that he got to work with a filmmaker who is always open to inputs.
Mugen Rao has completed shooting for two schedules of director TR Bala’s Jinn and the young actor got a lot of time to spend with the co-actors Bhavya Trikha, Vadivukkarasi, Imman Annachi, Vijay George, Vinodini, and Bala Saravanan during the shoot. “When I first met the senior, experienced members of the cast, I was a tad nervous. I had seen and admired them on the big screen and now I was acting alongside them! But they were all so sweet to me that soon all my fears vanished.
They made me feel so comfortable, that I was able to act naturally with them, especially in the family scenes,” he says. But he was still hesitant about doing a few things that came along with the role. “In one shot, I had to wake up Imman Annachi, who plays my father, by hitting him on his chest with force. I was hesitant to do that and did it softly to not hurt him. But on seeing this, he himself asked me to hit him hard to get the shot right. A tad reluctantly, I agreed to do it. But as soon as the shot was over, I apologised to him. But he kindly reassured me that my action was in sync with the scene,” shares Mugen.
For another scene in the comedy fantasy drama, Mugen and the other actors had to sit around and chat with each other. “Since it was a montage shot, director TR Bala gave us a free hand to act naturally and say whatever we wanted to each other. As we got chatting, Bala Saravanan said something funny to which Imman Annachi reacted with a witty counter. Soon everyone joined in and it became a laugh riot. Director Bala was so impressed, that he decided to actually use this comedy portion in another scene! That day I learnt the importance of being spontaneous as an actor. “
Mugen also learnt a lot by observing his director. “Bala sir never wastes even a single moment on sets. One day, I had to wait three hours in my caravan while other scenes were being shot. Director Bala made sure that I used my spare time prepping for my upcoming scenes. He gave me reference footage and explained in detail the mood and feel of the scene.”
The young actor feels fortunate that he got to work with a filmmaker who is always open to inputs. “He is also very patient in sorting out the queries of the cast and crew. Keeping his team at comfort is his priority. He also gave me the freedom to experiment with the diction while delivering dialogues, as long as it increases the impact of the scene.”
Mugen is excited about the current third schedule which is underway, for several reasons, “So far we have shot family portions and comedy scenes indoors. Now I’m looking forward to shooting scenes with the Jinn character and my action portions in the film. To make things more interesting, we will be shooting in my home Malaysia and I’m most excited about shooting there for a major portion of the film. I really hope that the upcoming schedules of Jinn will be as memorable as the ones that have been completed so far!”