Sai Pallavi on working with director Selvaraghavan in NGK, and sharing screen space with Suriya
Sai Pallavi says working in NGK was a challenging experience for her despite knowing the language.
Although Sai Pallavi became a sensation in Kerala first through director Alphonse Putharen's highly-loved coming-of-age drama Premam, the kind of adulation that Malar teacher has received from her homeground in Tamil Nadu through the viral chartbuster 'Rowdy Baby' in the last few months is indescribable. Her latest release NGK, which marks her third Tamil movie after Diya and Maari 2, released worldwide on 31 May and opened to middling reviews.
"I was doing a Telugu film when SR Prabhu sir called me. Then, I was called for narration with Selvaraghavan sir. I liked the script and immediately gave my nod. They asked me again since the film has two female leads, including Rakul Preet. Since both of us had prominent roles in the story, it didn't bother me at all," recalled Sai Pallavi in a group interaction about how she came on board.
Pallavi says working in NGK was a challenging experience for her despite knowing the language. "Selva sir doesn't like his actors blinking while enacting a scene. Even while crying too, he would want us to mellow down to bring out a specific emotion. It was a unique working experience for me. Selva sir opened new doors for me as an actor. Initially, I thought Selva sir would be a strict taskmaster. My friends too warned me that I should be cautious. But, he was very sweet and cordial."
She further added: "After two days of shooting, I understood that I could learn a lot in Selva sir's school of cinema. While shooting for other films, we used to hang out with our mobile phones and browse something or the other. But in Selva sir's set, everyone would stand with the dialogue paper and prepare for the next scene. I learnt what discipline is on the sets of NGK."
Pallavi says everyone in the team, including cinematographer Sivakumar Vijayan, was in great sync with the story. "That's the main reason there was no discomfort for anyone. I used to prepare my lines well in advance and do a lot of homework before I come to the spot. But, it didn't help much in NGK since Selva sir's inputs were indispensable. He would patiently teach us how to emote, how to cry, and how to walk in a particular scene. Selva sir is an expert in extracting the best out of an actor," she gushes.
Pallavi says she didn't speak much with Rakul Preet, who plays a political consultant in the film, in the initial stages of shooting. "After a few days of shooting, we got along really well. Suriya sir and I were even discussing how difficult it would be for Rakul since she doesn't know the language too. But later when I asked him, he told me that Rakul, surprisingly, was very comfortable on the sets."
Pallavi has been a long-standing fan of Suriya as an actor and feels that her life has come full circle now after sharing the screen space with him as his wife in the film. "Suriya sir is a very disciplined actor. He really enjoys his craft, and I admire him a lot for his dedication as a co-actor. There were specific sequences where I used to cry if I go for multiple takes. I was crying like a baby on the third day of the shoot itself. But, Suriya sir would perform with the same level of enthusiasm and conviction even if he goes for so many takes. There were occasions when Suriya sir went out of his way to make me comfortable."
On a concluding note, when asked about the sensational 'Rowdy Baby' song, Pallavi said, "Trust me; I really didn't know and expect that it would become such a phenomenon. When I was dancing for the song, I had only one thing in my mind. Dhanush sir was dancing remarkably, and I didn't want to disappear in the eyes of audiences. I wanted them to enjoy my steps too for at least some time. I also had brilliantly choreographed steps and excellent coordination from Dhanush sir."