Well, well! You learn something new every day. Didn’t think I’d learn so much Chinese in one day though! Met my hero Xia Yu, co-starring with me in my upcoming film “The DESIRE”, a superstar from China with no airs, was reserved at first but I actually discovered he had a great sense of humour as the shoot went on. Anyway coming back to how I learnt so much Chinese… I heard my hero correcting people pronouncing his name and every time someone called out his name, it invariably was wrong, the exact pronunciation being S(h)iya Yeoh! which means “summer rain.” Sweet! The director addressed him as Sha Wu which meant “Afternoon”, Sha Yu, which meant “Oil” and many more interpretations with different christenings. Ha, ha! I dreaded calling out his name with the fear of getting it wrong. It was a funny sight till some people resigned to calling him “Sir!” (It was easier)
But he was too sweet, every time someone called out his name; he very patiently corrected it with a smile on his face. It was amazing to see his professionalism and dedication, despite not speaking the Hindi language he did try to make an effort to get comfortable with the surrounding with the help of Tracy (his English interpreter). For the first time I faced the camera with a foreign actor and that was a different experience. One thing that’s still constant is the fact that cinema understands the language of expression, so in the shot we understood each other perfectly well even if off camera we had to make an effort.
Shoot’s been hectic, a marathon schedule in Nasik after which we’ll move to Kuala Lumpur. Shaping up very well, very impressed with Sarath’s vision and his grasp of the medium is commendable. He’s slating to showcase it the Cannes Film festival so we working at break neck speed. For a change the international audiences will get to see more than just SLUMS, filth and an unhygienic environment and will see the deep rooted culture and beauty of India. It will be a film I’ll be proud of as an actor and as an Indian. Hopefully this will be received with as much gusto…
On that note will get back to practising Xia Yu’s name… have to get it right. Ha! Ha! Be good and a new announcement on the anvil, waiting to be broken. A couple of more days and the wait will be over.
Zai Jian – that’s goodbye, you know in which language!