That Tamil actress Chandini Tamilarasan is confidence personified becomes clear after talking to her for a couple of minutes. The south Indian actress was least fascinated by the glitz of cinema in her teens, not even after she won the Miss Photogenic title at the Miss Chennai beauty pageant way back in 2007. She kept turning down every film offer until a Bhagyaraj movie came knocking on the door. The movie, 'Siddhu 2,' opposite Shanthanu Bhagyaraj (director Bhagyaraj's son) thus set off her film career in 2010. She has since been deeply involved in films so much so that she now dreams to be a versatile actress. Excited to the brim about her upcoming Tamil film 'Vandi,' the directorial debut of Keralite Rajeesh Bala, Chandini shares with Onmanorama her experience of acting in the movie.
What is special about 'Vandi'?
Though the movie is in the commercial mould, it's very realistic. The characters are challenging. I'm very thankful to Rajeesh Bala for selecting me for the movie. I was shooting for a movie in Trichi when the director and the camera man drove all the way from Chennai to meet me. As they narrated the story explained the character of the heroine, I found that there was a lot of scope to perform and within a couple of hours I signed the movie.
How was the experience of acting in 'Vandi' different from other movies?
My experience in 'Vandi' was like going to an acting school, very honestly. The director had given a lot of importance to the actors' performance. The picturisation was based on master shots in which every scene at a particular spot was taken in a single shot. This meant there would be five to six actors performing together in a scene and that if any one actor faulted at a point, the whole scene had to be re-enacted and re-shot from the beginning. Since I had no theatre background it was quite difficult for me initially but after two to three days I could deliver what the director wanted. Acting in the film was a learning process and after doing this film it has become very easy for me to do other films.
How difficult was it for you to enact your character when there were repeated takes as you said?
More than emoting in the film, I had lot of dialogues. So, even if another artist made a mistake I had to repeat the dialogues altogether. That was a challenge as I had to memorise those dialogues and repeat them. It was tough initially, but I could get into the skin of the character and adapt to this novel making style. I really enjoyed the procedure. It was a new experience, especially for a person like me who has no theatre background.
The character in 'Vandi'
I play a Swati , a de-glam role, in the film. Swati is a bold person who works at a petrol bunk. She dominates the hero a lot. She is straight forward and is a very honest person. I had to talk quite a lot. When the director narrated me the story, he told me how the character has to look and how she has to behave. With those inputs I started developing the character and I kept improvising my scenes on the sets. I completely banked on the director for the character. Swati is a very realistic character with very minimal make-up. Playing the role was challenging but I completely enjoyed it.
Which aspect of the film has attracted you the most?
The making style and the story. The story is very good. You rarely find a director who gives the very best in his first film, without compromising on any thing. The making of the film is grand, thanks to the producer who had a good budget for the film. When you watch the film you will find that the production value is very high.
Preparations you had to make for the film
First of all, I was prepared not to don any make-up. I knew I had to be very spontaneous in the film because there were many good actors working in the movie. No other preparation was needed because I was very confident about my role and in a day or two I was able to crack my character and I understood what the director wanted out of me. Once I knew how Swati should behave and what Swati should do, it went on very smoothly.
In general, which quality a man should admire in a woman the most?
I think a man must admire the confidence a woman has. A man should respect a woman for what she is and he should admire the potential she has in whatever she does.