'Great to be part of India's first motion capture film'
Young actor Aadhi has an impressive line up of films like Mirugam, Eeram and the recent Aravaan.
He won a lot of acclaim for his role as Varupili in Vasantha Balan's Aravaan.
In this interview, he talks about his experience of working in Soundarya's Kochadiayaan alongside a megastar like Rajnikanth
What was your initial reaction when you were offered Kochadaiyaan?
Three or four months ago I got a call from Soundarya's office. I was first confused and then shocked. I wondered what kind of character they were going to offer me.
Once I listened to the script, I knew what I was going to do in the film. It is an interesting role. Though my screen time will be less, the impact will be good.
I have an introduction and I will be there at the end of the film. I have combination scenes with Jackie Shroff, Rajnikanth, Deepika Padukone, Nasser and most of the cast of the film.
The most interesting aspect of working in Kochadaiyaan was working with some of these senior actors.
Image: Movie poster of Kochadaiyaan
'I was totally clueless about what motion capture technology was'
Were you not supposed to go to London with the rest of the crew?
Yes, I was to go to London. I was in Tirupur on a film promotion when I was called for the visa interview which was the next morning. There was no way I could reach Chennai the next morning.
Though they got my visa interview postponed, I couldn't go to London as I got my visa a little late. By then, the studio dates in London were over.
So, I joined the crew in Trivandrum later.
Your father Ravi Raja Pinisetty, had directed Rajnikanth in a film. Had you met him then?
My father had directed him in the Telugu film Pedarayaudu which was a blockbuster. I had not gone on the sets or seen him at that time as I had my exams.
So the first time I met Rajni Sir in person was on the sets of Kochadaiyaan. I think God has been kind to give me an opportunity to work with him.
The first thing Rajni Sir asked me when we met in Trivandrum was, 'How is your father?'
How was the experience of shooting a film in motion capture technology (system of digitising actors to create characters in films)?
It was a totally different experience. First thing I had to do was get into my body suit; it was a scuba diving suit. When I came down from my caravan in the suit, I saw Saroj Khan choreographing Deepika Padukone and many others in one corner of the studio.
I was totally clueless about what motion capture technology was. I went straight from the shoot of my bi-lingual Maranthein Mannippein to Trivandrum. I had no time to read up on motion capture technology.
Before I did my first shot, they marked tracking points on my suit from head to toe. Then, I had to be in the place where the motion capture was done.
As I couldn't go to London, I had to match what they had done there. There were sequences of me and Rajni Sir walking side by side, and then Rajni Sir, Jackie Shroff and me walking.
As they had done the shots there, I had to match their steps. For example, Rajni Sir asks me a question for which I have to give an answer. The question was already there and I have to give the answer at the right time and match the person who did that in London in my place.
So, for every shot, I had to see how they did it and match that in my performance. Similarly, I had to walk at the speed at which Rajni Sir walked in that frame.
Everything was a little complicated but I got the hang of it fast.
'Soundarya never acted like she was Rajni sir's daughter'
How did the first shot go?
It went well. Generally it takes some time to get adjusted to the motion capture technology. First, we have to 'key in' for the camera to capture what we do. After the performance, we have to 'key out'.
Another thing is, you have to imagine everything that is around you. For example, if the shot is of me standing on top of a hill, I have to imagine that I am standing there and act.
When you see the film, whatever I had imagined will be there for real! But as an actor, I have to visualise all that in my mind and act it out while the ambience is created later.
In one scene I am galloping on a horse. What I got was a plank. I sat on it and showed the galloping motions as if I was going on a horse!
It is a very complicated thing for a new person. I think I got adjusted pretty fast. |
What made it easy for me was Soundarya's input. She worked like a very experienced director and put me at ease. I must say she never acted like Rajni Sir's daughter!
It was a fantastic crew also. We had lots of interactions and everybody pitched in with their ideas.
The scariest part of Kochadaiyaan was the flowery language I had to speak. The dialogues were very dramatic and like you hear in period dramas. I have not spoken in such a language in my entire life. So, to do that was an effort in the beginning.
Was Rajnikanth there when you shot?
Yes, Rajni sir was sitting on a couch watching me do it. After the shot, he called me and asked me to sit next to him on the couch. He looked at me and asked, 'What is your height?'
I said, 'Six feet two inches, Sir.'
He smiled and said, 'Very good, very good.'
He then asked me whether I was comfortable.
Later, for some of the shots, I had to even put my hands on his shoulder.
Image: Movie poster of Kochadaiyaan
'Rajni sir was very considerate to me'
Were you nervous then?
Very nervous. Working with the superstar is not a small thing; it was a great thing for me. But in no time at all, I forgot that I was working with Rajni Sir and I became the character.
How many days did you shoot for Kochadaiyaan?
I shot for two-and-a-half days. I have a couple of more days of work.
I wish I could do more motion capture films as it is less strenuous. Imagine Aravaan in motion capture -- I would not have to go jump from trees and climb hills!
I am happy that I am part of the first motion capture film that is made in India.
Did you meet Rajnikanth before leaving?
I went to meet him in his caravan. He had lots of questions about the film, technology, etc. I wanted to take a picture with him but didn't have the courage to ask him. As if he had read my mind, he said, 'Don't you want to take a picture with me?'
I said, 'I would love to but I didn't know how to say it'.
Immediately he called a photographer, and asked him to take a photo of the two of us together. He also asked him to take a picture on my mobile!
What struck me was that he was so considerate even to a small guy like me, a newcomer. This is what makes him a super star and a great human being.