For the Harish Kalyan-starrer 'Parking', actor Indhuja Ravichandran had to shoot in a house in one of the lanes in Valasaravakkam.
“Harish and I play a middle-class couple who are tenants on the top floor of the house, while MS Bhaskar sir and his family occupy the ground floor. What starts off as a car parking issue develops into an ego clash and a giant conflict. The location itself was a highlight of this script. We shot there almost night and day on different shifts and soon we felt as if we really lived there,” says Indhuja.
The lanes being narrow, they couldn’t park vanity vans. “So between shots, we would sit on the road outside the house. The first few days people were curious about the shoot, but after a while, they got used to us.”
According to the actor, the neighbors were friendly and helped ensure the shoot took place smoothly. “At first, they would peep out of doors and windows when shooting was underway. However, once the director explained how it would disrupt the frames, they would make sure not to do that. Anyone who was earlier trying to record on their mobiles, stopped after the director requested them to refrain. They were very cooperative.”
Indhuja was so excited on hearing the script that she agreed to her role of a pregnant woman, “Although I didn’t want to get slotted after two earlier films as a mom, the Parking script was so interesting, I didn’t want to give importance to my image over the script and said yes to my first role of a pregnant lady.” But playing the part was challenging. “A silicon prop of a baby bump was strapped around my shoulders and back. I had to wear it all day as the removal process was tough. It took a few days to get used to the extra weight.”
Indhuja prepped by watching videos and speaking to friends and family to get the walk, mannerisms and frame of mind of a pregnant lady. “Once the trial rehearsals with the silicon prop were done, I would practice before the mirror. I got so used to the new body language that even after the shoot, I would continue walking the same way. Only when my friends pointed this out, did I stop.” Playing a married couple with good friend Harish Kalyan took getting used to. “We are good buddies so we took a few days to get into our characters of husband and wife. We would tease each other at first. But our inherent camaraderie helped us while getting into character.”
She also saw another side of him during the shoot. “Harish is a very amiable person in real life. So to see him transform into a violent, angry young man during the filming was something totally new for me. The way he got into the skin of the character, so different from his own personality, was truly remarkable to see first hand.”