Raghavan's Dream Team
Director Sriram Raghavan and Radhika Apte talk about their latest film Andhadun, their experience of collaborating after Badlapur and a lot more. Read on...
Sriram Raghavan, how did you finalise the cast for Andhadhun?
I had already worked with Radhika in Badlapur, so I had a good rapport and comfort level of working with her. Also, the kind of actor she is and roles she is doing in today's time, I think are amazing.
Speaking of Tabu, I would say she has always been on my dream list to work with. Even while writing the script for this film, Tabu's character was written with her in my mind. Maybe after her role in 'Drishyam', it was clear to me that she is perfect for this role.
Now that we have worked together, I can say that now my dream has come true.
For the character of the piano player, we wanted someone with knowledge of music, but I didn't think of Ayushmann. It was only later that we clicked to us and we approached him. He loved the script and came on board.
I think I could not have a better cast for this film and these roles. This was the perfect trio, a dream team for my film.
Sriram, how was your experience of working with this cast?
I think it is important to work hand in hand with actors when it comes to filmmaking, I think actors like Ayushman and Radhika, who are doing films quite a good amount of films, know what exactly the audience wants from them. Therefore, when it comes to shooting a scene or the script, I always make a point that I seek there inputs too. All in all, as I said this was the perfect trio to work with and in the film if you see, it is quite visible too.
Radhika, what made you say yes to this film?
One day Raghavan called me and told me about the role, I think he asked me twice that the role is really small, so am I sure of doing it or not. But since it was his film and I had already told him a lot of times, no matter what film you make or role you have for me, if it is your film, I am in. So, I jumped in for the role.
Honestly, I did not read the script but I was narrated that. The first thing because of which I said yes for this film was him of course.
How was the experience of collaborating with Raghavan after Badlapur?
It was amazing. He is one of my favourite directors and I really admire his work. I really enjoy being on the set with him, I think I have been the happiest in the last two years while being on set with him. I am not joking.
Sriram, how did you come up with this title for the film?
Actually, while I wrote the script and we started shooting, no good title was coming our way. There were a lot of titles, but nothing was striking me for the film. So, I announced a prize that whosoever suggests the best title for the film will get a gift from me.
Then a colleague of mine suggested 'Andhadhun' with the pun in it.
The production house also suggested a similar title, 'Andhadhund'.
But, the reason why I chose this title was that I thought it perfectly matches the aura and unexpected pace of the film.
When we started shooting, we did not know where we were going, what we were achieving exactly, we just decided to go with the flow. Also, in the film you will see, the story is moving with a very fast. Therefore, I could relate to this title the most.
Major parts of the movie have been shot in Pune. Share your experience about that?
Sriram: I will tell you the story behind this location where we shot this film. So, this was a house of a married old couple in Pune and I totally loved it and found it like the most suitable place for the film according to my script and the execution I was planning.
Radhika: I guess the reason why I connect so much with Raghavan sir is that we both are from Pune. Whenever we are there we do bike rides, we used to stop at every eating place which we knew and loved and just hopped on some food. Ayushmann, on the other hand, was on diet, so he missed on the food. But I really enjoyed, I had the time of my life.
What was the most challenging part of Andhadun for both of you?
Sriram: As a director, I did not feel a lot of challenge but I think Ayushmann was the man who faced real challenges in order to get into the skin of his character. He used to visit different blind schools and observed real blind people. Not only this, for understanding and observing their daily chores and way of looking at the world, he used to be there and record hours of content at the blind schools. I saw him blindfolding himself on sets, whenever he needed to focus on the character.
Radhika: I agree with Raghavan. But also, for me, it was a challenging role too. I think the smaller the role you get, the bigger task it becomes. I had to really work hard in order to make the small appearance impactful enough for the audience.
What has been the funniest moment of the Andhadhun journey?
Radhika: I would love to answer this one. Actually, we shot this film for over a year, so there were a lot of moments we made us laugh while the camera was on. But, there was one scene in which I had to cry but I instead ended up laughing. Tabu was in front of me and she was doing something, maybe enacting her character or saying her lines and I started laughing at how she was doing that.
Sriram, what do you have to say about the comparisons which were made with Kaabil?
I have always said that I am very slow at my work. I take a lot of time to write and then patiently execute it on the camera. So I started working on the script long back, with whatever ideas that were coming my way and then one day I saw Kaabil happened.
I know the comparisons are being made since our trailer was out, I believe that Kaabil is a revenge drama and but if you see the film, you will see that this story is very different from what people have earlier seen in the previous film.