Kochi: Leona Lishoy is back home after an adventurous and fun shooting schedule of her upcoming Tamil film BD at Kodaikanal and near Theni. Leona plays a veterinary doctor in a rural village in which she has to act with elephants, horses, dogs and goats! “The village has only one veterinary hospital and the hospital has only one vet me. The hero, newcomer Tilak, plays the role of an unemployed youth who goes around helping everyone in the village. The hero lends some money to some people who are unable to pay him back and give him their elephant instead. The ensuing comic situation that arises forms the crux of the story,” says Leona.
“We had a female elephant who plays an important role. Even though I’m scared of elephants, I didn’t find it very difficult to shoot with her as she was very friendly. She did exactly what the mahout told her to do. There was a scene where she had to run and suddenly come to a halt and look back. The shot was okayed in the first take. According to our director, the elephant acted better than the hero and me!” adds Leona with a chuckle.
However, the elephant threw temper tantrums and acted like a diva sometimes, she adds. “I had to do a couple of scenes where I am shown treating the elephant and she had to lie down. But she just wasn’t in the mood. We had to halt the shoot and wait for over two hours before she finally gave in and lied down. The next scene had me tapping the elephant here and there and opening the elephant’s eye to check. That was really scary. Opening an elephant’s eye! Since she wasn’t in a good mood, we couldn’t even have retakes. In the rush, I bruised my palms on the rough skin of the elephant. But I did learn a thing or two about elephants, like you should never touch an elephant using your fingers. You have to use your entire palm,” explains Leona. Leona adds, “I think I dealt with all the animals our crew could manage to find in the Kodaikanal area because I treated horses, goats, dogs and other animals in the film too. It was a lot of fun. The dubbing of the film has been completed and it is scheduled for release in September. The audio release will be next week.”