English actor Daniel Caltagirone will be seen next in the highly-anticipated Tamil film, Thangalaan, starring 'Chiyaan' Vikram in the lead role under acclaimed filmmaker Pa. Ranjith's direction. Announced to be a pan-Indian venture coming out also in Telugu, Hindi, Kannada and Malayalam languages, the film set in the pre-Independence era and is currently one of the biggest ventures in production being made by K. E. Gnanavelraja's Studio Green and Ranjith's Neelam Productions banners on a grand scale. With a major chunk of filming already wrapped on Thangalaan and the title announcement teaser released last year creating massive buzz, Daniel Caltagirone recently sat down with National Award-winning film critic Baradwaj Rangan, the Editor-in-Chief of Galatta Plus, for a one-on-one discussion about the upcoming film and also share his working experience alongside Vikram and under Pa. Ranjith's direction.
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Speaking about the differences in acting in Indian and Tamil films compared to English and Hollywood ventures, Daniel Caltagirone explained his observations during the course of shooting Thangalaan with National Award winner Vikram. He said, "We have had snippets of those conversations. I mean the process for me at first... so, back in the West, my style of acting tends to be very naturalistic. It depends obviously on the genre. Sometimes, you have to up the ante, so to speak. But, coming here, there is a certain theatricality you have to look into. Still, with honesty, not like over-the-top acting. But, I had to punch everything up. I remember my first day on set and Ranjith was like, 'What? Give me more. Give me bigger. You know, like, be more present, be more physical. I know I’m doing my naturalistic American style, but he was right. It doesn’t fit in to the style of film he is trying to do. However, having said that, this is not an over by any stretched imagination, it is not an over-the-top acting style. With Vikram, he is very much in the moment all the time. If something happens, he will very quickly adapt and improvise on top of that. So, I think Vikram, as you had intimated, he is one of the top actors in India. He is very good at just feeling his way through the scene and seeing what's right. Something will happen and he will say, 'Let's utilize that', which I do in the West, but here, I'm going to go on this journey and I'm gonna let Ranjith take me there. I'm not trying to convey something... Do you see what I mean? A certain style, rather, I think, just try to find the truth of the character, that's my aim, that's my goal. We haven’t talked about it extensively. But, Vikram will always say to me, 'I like to in the moment find something and he is very good. He is very creative."
Watch Daniel Caltagirone in conversation with Baradwaj Rangan in the video below: