Simba is Coming !!!
Simbu is coming.
Toronto-based producer Roger Nair has confirmed the Tamil screen star would shoot scenes for his upcoming film in Orillia, likely toward the end of September.
“It is definitely happening here, but we haven’t decided on the locations in Orillia,” Nair said in a telephone interview.
The film, titled Mr. Poda and Mrs. Podi, is described as a love story with dancing and action scenes.
Shooting was to begin Sept. 4 but has been delayed due to an unspecified illness suffered by the lead actor.
“We are saying the 20th (of September) for now, but it is all about adjusting dates,” he said, noting that Simbu was finishing up another film. “Hopefully, he is well and we can do it ASAP.”
Nair anticipates the Orillia shoot will last about a week.
The remainder of the film will be shot in Toronto.
“There are some action scenes, a lot of action scenes,” he added. “There are going to be some fast cars, some racers. That part might be done in Toronto.”
Simbu – known to his fans in India as Little Super Star – visited Orillia in early June, accompanied by Nair and others connected with the film.
They met with mayor and council and toured the city in search of potential locations for the all-important song sequences that are part and parcel to Indian cinema.
Nair has since spoken with local property owners whose homes may serve as filming locations.
Boat owners also have been contacted.
In a recent online interview published by the India-based news site rediff.com, the multi-talented actor/singer/stage performer details plans for the Orillia shoot.
“There is a good waterfront, the Huronia Regional Centre property and the city’s Victorian-style houses,” he says.
News of Simbu’s upcoming Canadian shoot – his first outside India – garnered headlines in his homeland and beyond as international media quoted local newspaper reports regarding his visit with mayor and council.
“I know for a fact, and you can quote me on this, that Ron Stevens is a household name, at least with Simbu’s fans,” Nair added. “I’ve seen Ron’s pictures all over the net. The Times of India is covering it. It is all over.”
Brantford was among the other cities Nair and his partners scouted while searching for potential shoot locations
“But it doesn’t really have the look we want,” he said. “This is a very hip, suave film.”
Nair had considered Orillia as a potential filming location for past shoots
Mr. Poda and Mrs. Podi is the intriguing title of a major upcoming Tamil feature film, intriguing even for Tamil speakers, Indians and Sri Lankans alike.
Even better, this major film will be shot in the GTA and its outskirts, up to Orillia.
Toronto-based co-producer Roger Nair of Roger Nair Production (the other co-producer is Mumbai-based Padam Kumar of MTPL) says they have set the film's "Muhurat" (auspicious beginning) for the second half of september in Toronto to coincide with Independence day celebrations of India and Pakistan.
They are scouting locations -- Nathan Phillips Square, Yonge-Dundas Square and elsewhere downtown.
Nair doesn't want to specify either the date of Muhurat or its location. He's afraid publicity will draw hordes of fans to that neighbourhood in their desire to rub shoulders with 24-year-old film idol Silambarasan, popularly called "Simbu" and known as India's Tom Cruise.
When Simbu was in Toronto recently for an appearance at the Rogers Centre, 35,000 Tamil-speaking people showed up.
Simbu tells me he was 9 months old when his father, T. Rajinder (also a film star, director, producer and scriptwriter) held him in his arms in a movie and he has been acting in film ever since.
In Mr. Poda and Mrs. Podi Simbu plays Mr. Poda, who immigrates to Canada, where he meets an Indo-Canadian girl. They fall in love and she becomes Mrs. Podi.
Simbu says the plot's hu -mour comes from an opposites-attract perspective "because the way she thinks, behaves, is totally different (from Mr. Poda)."
He wrote a script before coming to Toronto in June but is rewriting it now that he's become familiar with the Toronto and Indo-Canadian experience, says Nair.
At a time when Hollywood-based film production is declining in Toronto, Mr. Poda and Mrs. Podi will be a welcome addition to the city's shooting schedule.
"(Simbu) will actually be shooting Toronto as Toronto and we will end up spending $2.5 million-$5 million in Toronto shooting alone," says Nair.
Another Tamil film called Dashaavtaram by Kamal Hasaan is currently playing in Toronto theatres. "It is the costliest South Indian film with a price tag of $40-million-plus," he says.
South Indian movie superstars like Simbu, Kamal Hassan and Rajnikant are worshipped like gods. "Many of them, through their star power, end up becoming politicians," says Nair.
Of course, Simbu is too young to take that route, not when he's just 24 and still the screen heartthrob of legions of young women.
"I am totally happy with where we Indians have reached now," Simbu says about the brand name that Bollywood has now acquired in North America as well. He cites movie mogul Anil Ambani, who has infused $600-million into Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks SKG.
Nair himself got into the film production and distribution business 13 years back.
"I was not happy how they used to project India in cinemas -- poor country, backward country -- and so I said to myself, something has to be done about it. So I became a film producer."
He's the Canada-wide distributor of the acclaimed Bollywood movie Guru. Its world premiere in Toronto drew enough fans to bring part of Yonge St. to a standstill.
Nair is keen "on portraying India the way the country is."
And Simbu is so enthralled with Toronto's beauty and charm, he wants to portray Toronto as Toronto.
Source Simcoe.com, packet and times,Toronto Sun