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  • Tina Nandi

#SSSMovie Interview: Introducing… Naveen Richard!

Interview of Mr. Naveen Richard, actor in Simple Superstar, the movie.  

Sankey Tank, Bengaluru, India

22 September 2012

RS: Sir, tell us a little bit about your hair dresser on set.

NR:  Haha!  (looking up at own hair) There was no hairdresser!  In fact, there often wasn’t even a mirror!

RS: What!?!?  How did you manage?

NR:  I would often look at my reflection in the mobile phone.  As a side note, once upon a time, I found a grasshopper in my hair!

RS:  Beautiful, well done.  Let us continue.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

NR:  Sure.  I’m currently a student of law, but my passions are acting, writing, stand-up comedy, photography, and filmmaking.  My first ever paycheck came from an acting role.

RS: That is nice.  So, I understand you were born in Cochin (in Kerala state), raised in Coimbatore (in Tamilnadu state), and now reside in Bengaluru (in Karnataka state)?

NR: That is correct.

RS: Given the fact that each of those cities host different languages, what are your linguistic capabilities?

NR: An interesting question sir.  When I speak in Tamil, native Tamil speakers say that my accent is NOT Tamil.  When I speak in Hindi, people say I have a Tamil accent.  When I speak in Malayalam, people say I have a Tamil accent.  And when I speak in English, I would like to think I am somewhere in between all of the above.

RS: Very interesting.  When did you first meet Wilbur Sargunaraj?

NR: I had known about him for a while because of his Youtube videos.  Then he performed in Bengaluru and I went for the concert.  Usually, when I am around superstars, I say stupid things.  But it was easy to meet and interact with him.  I didn’t fumble my words at all.  He signed my concert ticket stub, a prized possession which I eventually, and unfortunately, lost.  Very very sad.

RS: So…(interrupted by Mr. Naveen Sir)

NR: And one more thing about the concert; I couldn’t afford a beer at the time, as I was a broke student.  But I can honestly say when I left that evening I was HIGH from dancing. It was an awesome evening.

RS: That is nice.  You are very good at being thoroughly resourceful – utilizing mobile phones as mirrors, utilizing dance as a substitute for cold beverages….Well done yet again.   

(impromptu question at this point by Tina Nandi Photography)

TNP: When you were filming for the movie, was there a lot of impromptu? 

NR: We would go over the day’s scenes and dialogues the night before.  But that was just an outline for the day – MUCH of the final product was impromptu, and that was one of the best parts of the filming experience.  I often never knew exactly what Wilbur Sargunaraj would say, and he never knew exactly what I would say.  It kept everything fresh!

RS: How did your days start when you were filming in the village?

NR: Well, we began with a bath.

RS: Whew!!! That is good to hear.

NR: All the guys would go out to the natural water well in the field.  There, a pressure pump was installed for irrigation purposes.  Wilbur showed us that if you stand under the blast of the water, the pump transforms into a shower – resulting in a pressure pump bath!  So we would properly queue up and wait our turns to take pressure pump baths.  It was so nice. 

RS: Then?

NR: After returning to the village, we would all have breakfast together. Typically Idli.

RS: Breakfast together?

NR: Oh yea, definately.

RS: That is nice.

NR:  Then, we would commence shooting.  Ben Stamper, in addition to being the Director of Photography, would also double as my wardrobe assistant.  Pointing to my clothing, I would ask him “Is this OK?”  He would think for a few seconds, and then say “Yea.”

RS: Awesome. Ben is a great guy.

NR: Following some shooting, we would all take naps in the afternoon. I would nap under a big Neem Tree.

RS: Were there any especially unique challenges filming in the village?

NR: Oh yea.  One day in particular, there was a festival at a nearby village.  All day music was blasting, and I mean BLASTING.  This meant that we had to shoot complete scenes, as there was less opportunity to stitch scenes together later.  That was unique, and a challenge I don’t think any of us expected.

RS: Why Simple Superstar? Why are you here?

NR:  There are many things in life I am indecisive about.  If I have to order juice, it will take me five minutes to make up my mind.  Then, there are other things which are clear, much more clear.  When I saw Wilbur Sargunaraj’s Love Marriage video, I knew that this was something special.  I’m not sure where this will lead, or what will happen next, but this was a great experience, and I’m really excited to see the final product! 

*Simple Superstar, the movie, is currently in post production process at Ben StamperPictures in New Jersey, United States.  Wilbur Sargunaraj, in addition to daily collaboration with Mr. Stamper, is in parallel working on the Score for the film. 

A two man production team!  You can see the first (class) teaser for the film here (there is a pun on “first class” – because it is the “first” teaser released, and it is a “class” room full of students.) 

Location: Sankey Tank, Bangalore

Interviewer: Robert Stephens

Model/Interviewee: Naveen Richard

Photographer: Tina Nandi

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