Shooting 'Adithattu' was a risky endeavour: Actor Sunny Wayne

The actor got candid about the latest Jijo Anthony directorial that hits theatres on Friday.
Sunny Wayne
Sunny Wayne

Sunny Wayne beams with pride when he talks about his new film Adithattu, which arrives in theatres today. A nautical adventure drama revolving around the lives and ordeals of fisherfolk, the film sees the actor reuniting with director Jijo Anthony for the second time after their last collaboration, Pokkiri Simon. From the promos, it’s evident that Adithattu is, in terms of tone, miles away from Jijo’s prior work, considering the fact that the film was shot entirely at sea. “This is a new experiment from Jijo. It’s nothing like Pokkiri Simon, Darwinte Parinamam, or Konthayum Poonoolum. I’m confident it will be a novel experience for film buffs,” says Sunny, who plays a fisherman named Marcos. “This is probably the first time in Malayalam cinema that a film was shot entirely at sea.”

Sunny shares the screen with Shine Tom Chacko, who plays Ambross, his colleague and friend, and actors Jayapalan (Aadukalam, Madras), Alexander Prasanth, Joseph Yesudas, Sabumon Abdusamad, and Murugan Martin, among others. Speaking about Shine’s character, 

Sunny says they are “buddies who work together and fight at church festivities but share a deep bond.”

Filming of Adithattu happened during the second wave, at the end of the last lockdown. When Jijo’s work on a project with Dulquer Salmaan got delayed, the former, in a random conversation with Sunny Wayne about the concept of Adithattu, managed to get the latter excited and eventually have him on board as one of the main leads.

“I was excited because Jijo told me he wanted to shoot the whole thing at sea, which took me a while to believe,” recalls Sunny. “He initially thought I wouldn’t be interested. When I read the script, the Marcos character appealed to me. He is an enigmatic guy who takes on all sorts of odd jobs to survive. He isn’t afraid of the sea; he would readily plunge into its depths. They have a mutual understanding.”

Was Sunny afraid of the sea? “I was a little bit, at the beginning. We risked our lives shooting this film. It was quite an adventure—a hazardous one at that, given the harsh weather—shooting it with the entire crew in the middle of the sea. We thought we wouldn’t return. It was raining when we first started filming; the first time we ventured out to sea, it was during midnight. The first few days consisted of night shoots. The sight of the formidable waters in faint moonlight was quite terrifying.”  

When it came for Sunny to make the jump, he was slightly nervous. “It’s not the idea of jumping that made me nervous—I can easily pull it off—but the undercurrent. We did some breathing exercises prior to the shoot, but since it was the time of the pandemic, we couldn’t do much. We just went directly to the sea. We moved the complicated portions to the end. Fortunately, due to the Almighty’s grace, nothing serious happened.”

Elaborating further on the efforts put in by the Adithattu team, Sunny shares that they taught themselves to catch fish the way the fisherfolk do it for real. “It was hard work. When real fishermen set out for work, they do it for 3-4 days, and we did everything like they do—casting nets, aside from getting involved in various other processes.”

Scripted by Khais Millen, Adithattu was bankrolled by Susan Joseph and Sin Treesa.Pappinu is the director of photography, with editing duties handled by Noufal Abdullah. Nezer Ahmed composed the music to Sharfu Amishaff’s lyrics.

Adithattu is coming to screens with an ‘A’ certificate, but Sunny doesn’t want viewers to be discouraged by it. “There is a small degree of violence, but it’s not the kind that causes anyone serious harm or anything. Then there is the language. We used the local dialect and cuss words that the locals generally use for authenticity’s sake, about which Jijo was very particular. But I’m sure that once the film gets going, nobody will be focussing on the language or violence because they all fit organically into the screenplay.”

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