National award-winning cinematographer KVAnand's second directorial venture Ayan is releasing on April 3. Surya and Tamannah are paired for the first time in this Tamil film. But what makes this film unique is its villain played by Akashdeep Saigal.
As the story takes place in the Sowkarpet area of Chennai, inhabited mainly by Gujaratis, Marawaris and Sindhis in large numbers, KV Annad has decided to cast a north Indian as the villain of his film.
The director narrated an interesting incident that happened on the first day of shoot with Akashdeep Saigal. "When he came to the sets, nobody bothered to look at him. Even those who worked in the film -- my assistants and productions managers -- didn't know who he was. They thought he was some character artist from Mumbai. They were cordial with him and that was it. We shot in the Mylapore area and the locals were also not bothered about him.
"On the 4th day, we went to shoot in Sowkarpet. The moment he stepped out of the car, he was mobbed like crazy by the people living in the locality. As they are all north Indians, they were familiar with the actor's serials. Kids, old ladies and women surrounded him shouting 'Akashdeep'. They only wanted his autograph and not Surya's. They weren't even interested in seeing Surya, and he was left alone. Perhaps it was happening to Surya for the first time in Tamil Nadu.
"It was then that the unit realised how popular Akashdeep was! After that, all of them became extra cordial to him! Even in Tanzania where there was a large Gujarati population, Akashdeep was mobbed," Anand recalled.
Text: Shobha Warrier