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Accidental Farmer & Co: Never played a romantic character nor was part of such a rooted project before, says Badava Gopi - Exclusive

The actor talks about his experience working in the quirky comedy, romancing on screen for the first time, and more in this chat with OTTplay

Accidental Farmer & Co: Never played a romantic character nor was part of such a rooted project before, says Badava Gopi - Exclusive
Badava Gopi in Accidental Farmer & Co

Last Updated: 08.22 PM, Mar 17, 2023


Accidental Farmer & Co, an outlandish comedy teeming with eccentric characters set against a village backdrop, recently dropped on Sony LIV. The series, directed by Sugan Jay, features Vaibhav, Ramya Pandian, Vinodhini Vaidyanathan, Chutti Aravind, to name a few, and it packs quite a few laughs. The offbeat tale is narrated through the eyes of the affable village postman, played by Badava Gopi.

In a chat with OTTplay, the actor, stand-up comedian, radio jockey and presenter talks about his experience working in the project, romancing on screen for the first time, how his interest in agriculture helped him get into the skin of the character and more. Excerpts...

What made you sign on the dotted line?
The series has a very rooted story and I have never been part of such a project earlier. The second factor is that I am routinely approached for comic roles. But here, I got the opportunity to test waters in romance as well as there is a parallel romantic track along with Vaibhav and Ramya Pandian's. The icing on the cake is that the story is narrated through my eyes. All these aspects egged me on to get on board.

You must be thrilled that you finally got the opportunity to work with Balaji Mohan...
Yes, I have always wanted to be part of his projects and I have been relentlessly coaxing him to cast me in one of them. Even when we both go to an event together, I don't let go of the opportunity to push my case. He might not have helmed Accidental Farmer & Co, but I am glad that I could at least be part of his production. This apart, I know most people in the team, including Vaibhav, with whom I share a great rapport. It all came together beautifully.

Your character is a polar opposite to the one in Meme Boys...
I played a villain in Meme Boys and not many knew until the last moment that I was the prime antagonist opposite Guru Somasundaram's character. It was quite a challenge to perform with someone as good as him. While my character in Meme Boys was loud, here, I am poles apart.

So, how did you prepare for the role?
We improvised a lot on the set and I worked on my 'counters'. Vinodhini Vaidyanathan plays my love interest in the show. During the rehearsals, there was a scene where she developed a back strain. She screamed, "Ayyo, Pudichirukku" (actually meaning 'I hurt my back', which can also be inferred as 'I like you') and I responded saying, "Ennaya? (Who, me?)' Everyone burst out laughing. Director Sugan then said that though I was in my element, it's better to stick to the script. I began playing my role with great restraint after that. Now when I look back, I realise how bad those counters would have been, had we retained them.

Was it comfortable romancing on screen?
I was a bit shy at first but Vinodhini is a good friend of mine. So, that made things easier. Vinodhini is like the female version of veteran actor VK Ramasamy. She talked in the same tone as him on the sets and would slip into her character effortlessly. It's been a while since we featured romance between a middle-aged couple and I think it has come out well.

How was the vibe on the set considering the kind of quirky characters everyone had to play?
Oh! It was ten times more vibrant than on screen. Each one of us was quick-witted. Take the case of Ramya Pandian! She is a 'Kadi Manni'. One day she greeted me saying 'namaskaaram'. When I responded with the same salutation, she squealed. I asked her what had happened and said she felt something 'spicy' punning on the word 'kaaram' in 'namaskaaram'. Her quips are that 'bad'. I later retorted with my own 'counter'. We had such 'intelligent' conversations on set!

How was shooting against the backdrop of a village?
I thoroughly enjoyed it. Many of my colleagues went back home during the breaks, but I stayed back and soaked in nature. We canned the portions at a village called Meenakshipuram, located around 40 kms away from Karaikudi. Every day, we would buy ingredients for our lunch enroute the shooting spot, and then cook and eat there. It was like a picnic for a month. The village had magnificent trees that might date back to centuries. Though we all had a caravan, we would sit under the trees and chat.

Did you get to interact with the villagers?
Actually, no one cared about us! They all live on their secluded farms. When they saw us, they proudly announced that they didn't have a single case of Covid-19 during the pandemic. But now that we have set foot there, they have their doubts.

Did you read up on agriculture before the shoot, since the plot revolves around it?
Actually, I am someone who has a keen interest in agriculture. I have a huge terrace garden at my home in Chennai. I prepare my own compost, mix soil, tend to the plants and harvest them. In the series, too, you would have noticed that the way I hold the spade is like a professional.

Are you enjoying the OTT space?
Absolutely! It's a welcome change. In cinema, you are bound by time restrictions, but here, you can take your time to chisel your character. There is also a lot more scope to perform. Today, OTT platforms are creating their own stars. They don't really go looking for established faces and every talented actor gets an opportunity to show their acting prowess.

What are your upcoming projects?
I am part of Jayam Ravi's next Iraivan, Nakkhul's Vasco Da Gama and GV Prakash and Aishwarya Rajesh's upcoming project.

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