So much drama for Tenali Rama

Updated: Oct 30, 2019, 19:06 IST | Letty Mariam Abraham | Mumbai

Aasiya Kazi narrates the unimaginable dilemma of shooting with a rooster for Tenali Rama

Aasiya Kazi
Aasiya Kazi

It's not uncommon to hear stories of co-stars not getting along, or having bitter showdowns on set. But Aasiya Kazi found herself in an unusual dilemma during the recent shoot of Tenali Rama. The actor, who plays the protagonist's mother Sharda in the comedy, had to share screen space with a rooster. Not in her wildest dreams had Kazi imagined that she would have a bird for a co-star.

In the world of television where plot has little to do with logic and suspension of disbelief reigns supreme, the track sees Sharda harbour the belief that the rooster is her son. Narrating the experience of her two-day shoot, she says, "A scene required the bird to jump off my lap and run as I chased it. Instead, he would jump off and hide in nooks and corners. So, the director asked the ADs [assistant directors] to stand in every corner and drive the bird away so that he would remain within the frame. We finally managed to complete the chase scene after a few retakes, but it was funny to see the entire unit shooing the bird around."

In another instance, she recollects that the rooster hid inside a box that was left on the set. "The unit somehow managed to get him out of the box," she laughs. Funny as the situations might seem in hindsight, Kazi explains that shooting with an animal is no mean feat. "It takes about two hours to shoot a scene; here, it took us almost four hours. Having said this, the experience was amazing because I love animals. Initially, I was nervous that I might hurt him by mistake. I asked the director if I should avoid touching the bird, but he reassured me. The only issue was that he would sit on my lap and sleep while the sequence needed him to be awake."

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