Two guys I met on the street while trying to cast Suhail. Met them walking past nirolhu. The guy on top looked perfect for Suhail and turned out he had the perfect background to play a character like Suhail. But sadly they turned out to be totally unreliable.
They said they just recently came out from a stint at jail and are looking for work. Through friend who is a contractor i was able to find them a job so they can lay low and away from the chaos of Male’ until we are ready to begin shooting. As it turned out with much enthusiasm they disappeared half way though the trip with the pocket money my contractor friend had given them. Couple of weeks later is saw them roaming around Male’.
Afra here was hanging around infront of our production office and he looked perfect to play a Suhail.
I thought he looked the part to play Suhail. Everytime I came out to have a smoke he is almost always outside. After Striking up a random conversation I found that his story on to itself was another film. He turned out to be a recovering addict currently going through community adaptation program after the court ordered stint at the rehabilitation centre in Himmafushi after getting busted in GHD Vaadhoo which is where is from.
As it turns out he was a recovering addict working diving for sea cucumber. until during one of these dives he got the bends for diving too deep and not keeping in the proper regulatory stops. Which is quite common among sea cucumber divers and paid fish divers. As for Afra according to him he was taken to the decompression facility at Shangri La Resort in Addu Atoll. After spending time there he had run put medical bills up to his neck. According to him the depression caused by this he relapsed and did not take long for him to get busted. Even thought the bust was not the reason he lost his job. He told me even though his bosses in GHD Vaadhoo were pretty accomadating and understanding of his condition and dilemma, it was this court ordered rehebilitation program and the bureaucratic nature of the program that made him loose his job.
As it turns out he had to come to Male’ to face the courts, and after that he had to wait another couple of weeks at a family members house in Male’ until he got a place at the ill equipment facility at Himmafushi and right after that is the mandatory community adjustment period in Male’ with regular NA meeting with weekly drug test. During the community adjustment period if he falls any of these drug tests he will be forced to spend 3 years in Jail.
It was during this period that I met him. He told me he was bored out of his head and unable to find a job in Male’ while staying at his family members house. Which was the reason he tells me he spends most of the time sitting around the curb in-front of our production office. During this time he said puts more pressure on him, unable to work, boredom, being a burden to his family in Male’ sharing a small space.
After I talked to him initially I kept seeing him around more often. Some how I thought I will still keep looking for other posibilties cast Suhail and still have Afra in the back of my mind. I did not want to make the same mistake I made with the two other guys and decided not to get too attached to his story even though i was moved.
During this period I did see him nodding off at times. Obviously relapsed and high off his head.
But when I finally decided to call him his from the number he gave me, he had gone to rehab once again. Turns out all this time he was waiting around to get his call from there, which he did not tell me about.
Later on I met his sister and she told me about how he was recovering well and that he was thankful to me for considering him for the role but sorry the he had to leave without saying good bye.
Anyway this was my luck with casting real life characters for these NA parts and people to play street vice characters.