Shane Nigam’s letter to AMMA explains his version of what happened at RDX sets
Close on the heels of the Kerala film bodies announcing their decision not to cooperate with Shane Nigam anymore, a letter he mailed to actors’ association AMMA has emerged.
It was earlier alleged that Shane had made unacceptable demands to the makers of his upcoming film, RDX. According to them, he demanded more prominence than the other two lead actors, Antony Varghese and Neeraj Madhav. He also wanted the makers to ensure the film projects him as the lead actor as promised. It was also accused that it was because of Shane’s uncooperative behaviour that the film’s shoot kept delaying.
Dismissing all allegations as baseless, Shane has mailed a letter the actors’ body, AMMA, explaining his version. Here’s the full text:
To the respected secretary and other AMMA office-bearers,
The complaint against me by Sophia Paul, the producer of the movie RDX, is completely baseless and false.
Let me start by telling you the reason why I did RDX in the first place. I was in Dubai for Salam Bapu’s film when Sophia ma’am called my mother. We had a Zoom meeting with the director who narrated the story to me. When they wanted a reply in two days, I said I wanted to read the script. After reading the script, I told the director that I am not going to do the film as I was not interested in acting in a multi-star project.
But then the director said that he had written the story keeping me in mind and that the story revolves around my character, Robert. I agreed to be part of the film after I was reassured by the producer and director.
In August, I started learning karate and bar-tending for the film. After the pooja on August 17, the filmmakers informed me that the shoot will start on September 5. But unfortunately, as one of the artists got injured, the shoot got cancelled and was postponed indefinitely.
I agreed to join Priyan sir’s film on November 1. So I couldn’t do any work in September and October. After that, I gave dates to the Nadirshah film produced by Badusha. Later the ‘RDX’ director told me that once the artist recovers from his injury and after Priyan sir’s movie is completed, I should join RDX as the producer had invested a lot of money and that the dates of artists and fight masters will clash. So I kept the Nadirshah film aside and gave priority to ‘RDX’.
After finishing Priyan sir’s film on December 10th, I re-started my karate, bartending, and weight loss training the very next day. The shoot began on December 15. Since they filmed a church sequence for the first 10 days, which didn’t require my presence, the director asked me to join on December 26. My shoot started on December 26 and continued till January 9.
They then announced pack-up between January 10 and 15. That was to trim the script as the shooting days were getting extended.
They called Sibi Jose, who was Joshiy sir’s chief associate, to trim the script. Sophia ma’am told this to my mother.
During a night shoot on January 31, while I was waiting inside my caravan, a cockroach got inside my ear and I was admitted to the Sunrise Hospital. It was extremely painful, and I was bleeding. They had given me a dirty caravan.
When I got back to the location our fight master Anbu Arivu forbade me from doing a fight scene as I had bleeding. Since it was midnight, the doctor at the emergency department told me to meet an ENT specialist the next day.
Thankfully, my eardrum was intact. But since there were scratches around it, I was asked to rest for two days. Yet, I decided to go to the location instead. From February 2 to 15, they announced a schedule pack-up. I was told that it was due to some confusion over the colony fight location, the fight master’s date issues, and to allow a co-actor to finish his web series shoot.
After shooting at Chenkalchoola from January 14 to 21 and taking a break on the 22, there was a shoot from January 23 to March 1. From March 2 to 8, they again called for a schedule pack-up. The reason: my co-artist had to attend the Celebrity Cricket League. Then, I attended the dance rehearsals on 6 and 7 as scheduled.
In her complaint, the producer says that during the climax shoot on February 28, my mother told her that I will cooperate only till February 28. That’s a false allegation. The truth is that though we called the production controller and producer for a meeting several times, we got no response. Finally, we got an appointment in January end. The meeting was at their office near Anjumana. Controller Javed was also there at the meeting. In the meeting my mother said though according to the agreement my 55 days will end on February 14, I will be present on the shoot till February 28.
We had to inform this as we had to join my next film and the ‘RDX’ shoot was getting extended. Since I couldn’t give clear dates for my next film, they asked us to return the advance amount. So, my mother asked for more money from the ‘RDX’ producer to return the advance to the other producer. But she refused (in an insulting tone) and asked us to cooperate till the shoot is completed. This is when I informed my organisation. Later, AMMA Secretary Edavela Babu interfered and on March 8 we thrashed out a solution with the Producer’s Association.
In her complaint, the producer also says that the shoot got extended as I was not cooperating since March 1. Here let me recall that at the meeting held on March 8, the producer and controller vouched that I was the most well-behaved and disciplined artist on the sets in front of Edavela Babu and the members of the Producer’s Association. I don’t know why they have suddenly changed their stance. Also, in that meeting, the producer had promised that the shoot will be over on March 31. But the shoot got wrapped up only on April 13. The director had also told me that there would be one more day of the shoot.
After the meeting on March 8, there was a shoot between March 9 and 28. And I had already informed them that I had to attend the promotions of Priyan sir’s film on the 27 and 28. Due to Innocent chettan’s demise, there were no promotions on March 27 and so when they called me, I attended the shoot in the afternoon.
Since there were promotions the next day, the director, chief associate, and controller promised to finish the shoot by midnight. I cooperated till 1.35 am and informed chief associate Vishakh before leaving the sets. Since I was really tired I couldn’t even inform the senior artists.
I was very weak and tired after the promotion on March 29 and was admitted to Renai Medicity. The doctor said my body was very weak and required rest. This was due to many reasons — I was only eating one meal a day to lose weight to fit into the 90s era, apart from the lack of sleep due to erratic night and day shoots. I did inform about my hospital admission to the production executive who was calling me incessantly. Since my co-artist and I were unavailable, the production house announced a break on the 30 and 31. Then the shoot resumed on April 1 till 7 at Arakkunnam. There was a break on the 8th. We shot from the 9th and 13th and they announced the pack-up.
Now the truth as to why the championship sequence was cancelled. Since we had to shoot the day before this sequence till 1:30 pm, I had already got permission from the director and chief associate to be at the shoot the next day only after 10 am. They said they will start the shoot with the other artists. I don’t know what happened after that. Later I was informed about the location shift. According to the producer’s version, since I said I will be late because of a migraine, they said they can’t start the shoot without Shane. I said I will take the medicine and come. Later when the producer’s husband called my mother and misbehaved with her and accused I was lying about my migraine, my mother reacted emotionally on the location. I want to apologise for that.
It is also mentioned that I made the dance master wait. The day before that also I had to shoot till the wee hours and by the time I reached home, it was 3.30 am. I reached the location at 11:45 am, got into the 90s costume, and started the shoot by noon as per schedule. When I wanted clarity regarding what was promised to me it was the director who asked me to see the footage. I never asked him to show me the edited version. I have attached a copy of the mail. I request the officials to read what I have written in it.
This is the reality of what happened during the shoot of ‘RDX’. If you check with others on the sets you will know the truth. I am going through a lot of mental trauma because of such lies propagated against me. I am humbly requesting my organisation to find a solution to this problem.