'Kottukkaali': Soori explains the extreme steps he took to get his throat damaged for his role, says "Felt that my voice sounded artificial"

'Kottukkaali': Soori Explains The Extreme Steps He Took To Get His Throat Damaged For His Role, Says
Join Our Whatsapp Channel

Tamil actor Soori stunned fans in Vetri Maaran's Viduthalai Part 1(2023) and is now once again garnering immense praise for his performance in Kottukkaali directed by Koozhangal (2021) fame PS Vinothraj. Yet to be released in theatres, the film also starring Malayalam actress Anna Ben recently garnered the distinction of being the first Tamil film to have its world premiere at the prestigious 74th Berlin International Film Festival. With terrific appreciation pouring in for the Kottukkaali team at the Berlinale, Soori recently sat down with National Award-winning film critic Baradwaj Rangan, the Editor-in-Chief of Galatta Plus, to talk in detail about his role, including explaining the methods he adopted to get his voice altered. 

Speaking about his role in Kottukkaali, Soori said, "It was quite difficult, but also challenging. I had to cover my neck with a paste made from crushed limestone powder and sugar during the film's shooting. This is usually done in villages if there are problems in the neck, which will pull down everything and make it clear. So, when the film begins, something big happens and the story starts only halfway, and I had to wear it throughout the entire shoot. We shot in sync sound since there was no dubbing and I had to speak like my throat was sore. This can done at one juncture, but I had to follow this till the end. The next thing was performing in the same manner alongside nearly 10 artistes and I would have to focus on my body language, and my dialogue delivery, which I had to be conscious about not speaking in my normal voice. If I delivered the dialogue in my normal voice, we'd have to go for another take and doing the scene once again is extremely difficult. This was a really big challenge for me. But, after the screenings, many foreigners who watched the film asked me, how I managed to follow the same voice modulation till the end? When I told them what I did, they were left in shock." 

Soori further stated, "I acted as the director explained about the character, but I still felt that the voice sounded artificial and wondered how it would be if it were damaged for real. So, I decided to consult a doctor and he suggested me some medication and treatment. I explained to him that I wanted my throat to be damaged. He laughed and told me not to do that. He said that as a doctor he usually is asked about clearing the problems in the throat and that this is the first time that he was posed with such a query. I then made several requests and asked him for suggestions. He asked me for what purpose was I making such a request and I told him that it's for a film. He was extremely reluctant initially, but later told me to adopt natural treatments instead of English medicine." 

Explaining his efforts for his role in Kottukkaali, Soori added, "I noted down the doctor's suggestions and sought from nature the things that would make the throat choke and not allow you to speak properly. I would then mix them all up and leave it my mouth overnight, which would not let me speak the next day. I would get asked why was I doing so much, but I knew that I would feel okay in a week's time. But, as I kept doing that continuously, it started to pain after a point of time. That is how I managed to do a voice modulation and it helped me out till the end." 

Watch Soori in conversation with Baradwaj Rangan in the video below: