Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ash climbs rocky terrains twice for Raavana

Contrary to rumours that Mani Ratnam had to be protected from exertion because of the health scare he suffered during the first schedule of Raavana in Kerala’s Chalakudy forests, the maverick filmmaker was, in fact, in far better health after the scare!

A source close to the Raavana project said, “After his first heart attack there was a blockage in his artery which got detected only when Mani sir was hospitalised the second time. He got the blockage removed and came out feeling far fitter. So much so that he was the most agile and athletic person in our unit and could climb the steep, slippery rocks faster than anyone else.”

And now Mani is so confident of his health that he intends to make at least two films every year.

In fact just to give his leading lady Aishwarya Bachchan company, Mani would accompany her up the rocky forest terrain, which she had to climb twice, once with her husband Abhishek Bachchan, who plays the fugitive kidnapper in the Hindi version, and the second time with Vikram, who plays the outlaw in the film’s Tamil version.

One of the lead actors from Raavana said, “Since we were shooting in marshland, we’d often have our lunch laid out in the middle of marshy water on a floating table where Mani would happily join us. In fact, the so-called health scare just made him friendlier. He wouldn’t allow any of us actors to do anything grueling without him joining us.”

While all the three principal actors Abhishek, Aishwarya and Vikram suffered serious injuries and viral illnesses, it was Aishwarya who proved to be the toughest among the three.

Her co-star added, “Mountaineering pegs were hammered into the rocks for the actors to climb up, but that didn’t make the steep path less dangerous. Aishwarya climbed up the dangerous path twice every day, once with Abhishek, then with Vikram. She would go right up, come down and then be ready to do it all over again. So much so that by the end of the day she needed no makeup to show cuts and bruises. They were for real.”

Confirming these incidents, Vikram said, “I’ve never seen any actress do the stunts Aishwarya has done. And I’ve never seen any actress look so beautiful in such trying circumstances.”


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