Friday, September 30, 2011

When Dr Menon died

I barely knew Ananda Perera and his reputation as an ex-news director when he was cast as a supporting actor on the set of "A War Diary" in 2000/01.

My parents were like, "Do you know who he is???" But of course, they end up telling me who he was. I still had no clue. Young and clueless.

He acted as a doctor in the drama, as a mentor to my character.

He was always patient and actually had a good time filming. We filmed together mostly in the studios and also on location in Seletar Camp.

It seemed to me that nobody treated him differently and he probably didn't expect to be treated differently either. He played the role of the actor well, listening to the instructions of the director and the crew. He knew his script well and spoke the most impeccable English.

He would answer when addressed by his character's name "Dr Menon", rather than "Mr Perera". And he always had a good laugh at random things, if not smiling all the time in the 3 months I got to work with him.

His character was captured and tortured by the invading Japanese (it's a WWII film), and died in the arms of his student, the character I played. I think we played that scene very well. For the very short time we've worked together, I think we worked out a good touching onscreen moment. It's a pleasure to have met him and work with him.

Bye Mr Perera.

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