English actor Daniel Caltagirone will be seen as a parallel lead in 'Chiyaan' Vikram's Thangalaan being directed by acclaimed filmmaker Pa. Ranjith. The upcoming period drama film set in the pre-Independence era jointly being produced by K. E. Gnanavelraja's Studio Green and Ranjith's Neelam Productions banners has already wrapped up a major chunk of filming, and a special teaser was released last year giving audiences a glimpse into what awaits them in cinemas later. Recently, Daniel Caltagirone sat down for an interview with National Award-winning film critic Baradwaj Rangan, the Editor-in-Chief of Galatta Plus, to discuss about the world of Vikram's Thangalaan and how it has been working alongside a seasoned filmmaker like Pa. Ranjith.
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Speaking about how Pa. Ranjith encourages artistes to push themselves forward and find their own voice in their skills, Daniel Caltagirone explained how his role as an officer in British Empire in Thangalaan had been sketched out by the filmmaker. He said, "I can’t talk specifically about the movie. There are times when I’m leading this convoy of men on this journey to discover, obviously, this precious thing - gold. Even though everyone knows that, it's still not going to come out of my mouth. It came out of your mouth. So, you are obviously leading everyone to try to find gold and there's many moments where you’ve got to bear in mind the time period. In the 1800s, there was a certain way of conducting yourself, especially the way the British conducted themselves, and the way they viewed those to be inferior to them. However, just as a side note, this is not the cliché stuff that you might see, as we had just seen in RRR. The portrayal of Brits in there is very cliché. I still love the movie, but that's the way the Brits have been utilized in Indian cinema, right? Correct? But, Ranjith is not utilizing me that way. It's a very grey area."
Daniel continued, "There are a lot of times when I’m speaking to this convoy and I went in a very naturalistic way and said, 'This is what I need you to do. What I want right now is for all of you to go over there..' So, I’m saying this in an intense way... it comes from an Italian word. And, I say, 'You gotta go over there', and Ranjith is like, 'What is this?' And, I’m like, 'What what do you mean?' He was like, 'No. Presence, conviction. Conviction is a thing that I think is something prevalent in a lot of Indian movies. That phrase conviction. And, he has that in bucket loads. He just instills in me the conviction in your.. It might seem big to you, that is me, but it isn’t. Trust me. Because it fits in that time, but in the west, even when we are doing period films, we try to find the naturalistic... But, Ranjith is like, 'No, find how they would have conveyed themselves.' And, that goes for posture as well. And, he's always saying to me, 'Think military. When you were in the military, think that.' And, I go like, 'Oh yeah', and, I switch my body language because when you walk in a room, especially as an officer, you have to have a presence. You've got men and women under you. There has to be a presence. That's an example of how, you know, with Ranjith its about, 'go for it'. Like, really own it, which I have recently seen in Indian cinema, something that will be ludicrous in the West, but the Indians do it so well regardless of region. It doesn’t matter, but it's the conviction. And, that's what will sell you. That's what is now buzzing in the West with RRR."
Watch Daniel Caltagirone in conversation with Baradwaj Rangan in the video below: