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'I am spectacular in whatever I do'

By Rajul Hegde
March 01, 2017 13:18 IST
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'If Michael Jackson is called the King of Pop, would he mind it? It’s a great thing.'

'I don’t mind being called excellent in what I do. I don’t mind being typecast. I am very good at what I do, nobody can do what I do.'

'I am the best action hero.'

There's no stopping Vidyut Jammwal.

IMAGE: Vidyut Jammwal/ INSTAGRAM 

Actor Vidyut Jammwal believes he has no competition when it comes to executing action scenes.

Tall claims?

We'll soon find out in his next film, Commando 2, which releases March 3.

As he begins the countdown, Vidyut tells contributor Rajul Hegde just what makes him -- as he says -- so good.

What can we expect from the Commando sequel?

You can expect superlative action, much better than the audiences have ever seen in their lives! When you watch the film, you will not say we have done action as good as Hollywood, you'll say we have surpassed them.

We were very sure of setting a standard while shooting for the first Commando in 2013. I was very sure that when it released, the whole nation would sit up and say we haven’t seen anything like this.

The expression of action will change because people will not use cables.

Earlier, the hero would punch and 15 guys would go flying. After Commando, we have seen a great change in the action in the county.

After Commando 2, world action will change. 

IMAGE: Adah Sharma and Vidyut Jammwal in Commando 2

Was it already decided that the makers would come out with a Commando franchise? Will there be more films?

After we finished shooting the first film, we planned to make three. But now, I have a feeling we will keep going. Yes, we will have a third. 

Adah Sharma plays your heroine in Commando 2. Why wasn't Pooja Chopra, who starred in the first Commando, in the sequel?

It’s like asking me why every Bond movie has a new girl.

The audience wants to see something new.

In the Bond films, James Bond also keeps changing. But in my case, you can’t replace me because nobody does the kind of action I do (grins). 

What kind of equation do you share with Adah Sharma and Esha Gupta?

I have found a very good friend in Adah. She is a very normal girl, I like people like that.

Esha and I have done a lot of (fashion) shows together, so I did not have to break the ice with her. I do show-stoppers (modelling the main outfit) now, but I used to do a lot fashions shows earlier. You keep moving in life. Every phase of your life should be enjoyed. It was fun working with them. 

IMAGE: Vidyut Jammwal/ INSTAGRAM

Any pressure because of the fact that you were making a sequel?

People expect me to try something that has not been done before. After Commando, they said I have done everything -- gone through the window, under the car -- so what next? I go through a small hole in the wall, if you have seen the trailer of this film. For me, that was a great challenge.  

It comes as a surprise that actor Deven Bhojwani, who is known for his comedy, directs this film.

Hollywood director Jon Favreau is a comedian, but he made Jungle Book and Iron Man 2.

Deven Bhojwani is a fantastic comic actor but he has also directed an action show on television called Pukar.

When you are a good actor, you can do comedy, romance and drama.

He is brilliant on the sets. He knows his job very well. He is so dedicated. It's amazing to see somebody, who knows the script in every direction. You can talk about any scene and he will remember what happens in that.

If you are a great director, you can tell the difference between 'ordinary', 'phenomenal' and 'spectacular'. He has that vision.

We used to do a difficult action scene and Deven used to clap and say wow. I would tell him that now, he has to go through that window! Every day it would be a joke and he would say, 'I can't do it.' 

IMAGE: Vidyut Jammwal/ INSTAGRAM

You have done a lot of negative roles in south films.

I recently did a film Tamil film called Anjaan with Surya, where I didn’t play a negative role. I got a great response for that.  

I am not doing south films now because I am enjoying Bollywood. I loved being there but with the kind of work I am getting here, this is what I want to do.

I have shot for a film called Tigmanshu Dhulia’s film called Yaara with Shruti Haasan.

Then, I will start on Junglee. I am also starting Vipul Shah’s next, which does not have a title yet. 

Do not listen to film stars, they lie.

Stars say don’t drink water, reduce salt, stop eating carbohydrates... It’s rubbish. Carbohydrates is the food for the brain. If you don’t feed the right amount, your brain will not function.

Salt needs to be in the body, otherwise you will get cramps or get irritable or rage. Every mineral is required.

Listen to your body. If you feel like eating gulab jamuns, your body is craving for sugar. But don’t eat 15-20 of them. Just satiate the need for the stomach, not the eyes.

You should do what makes you happy.

I don’t believe in waking up at 4 am and working out. That’s rubbish. Even if I wake up at 12 noon and go watch a film, that’s my discipline.

On a good day, I train for six-seven hours but not in the gym. I have my own stunt team. I choreograph stunts that take hours. I work very hard on that.

Hence, on a vacation I don’t think, ‘Oh I have to train.’ When I am on vacation, I am on vacation. When I am training, I am training. When I am not shooting, I train everyday.

Whom do you look up to when it comes to fitness?

I inspire myself.

I am inspired by the teachers who have trained me.

I was enamoured by Jackie Chan. I admire action stars like Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgan.

A zillion people have inspired me.

I have been training since I was three years old. My mom runs an ashram in Kerala, where she teaches Kalaripayattu (an Indian form of Martial Arts). I have grown up in the ashram. Fighting mentally and physically has been imbibed in me naturally. 

You are working with Ajay Devgn in Baadshaho?

It was a great experience because I like the way he is with the new action stars. If I was a senior on set, I would be exactly like him.

He is nice, sweet and makes sure I am taken extra care of. That's what senior actors should do.

I have learnt so much from him.

He is also one of the few Indian actors, who speaks Hindi well. I don’t know any actor who can speak that well. 

The film is about a queen based in Rajasthan, how she plays two men: Ajay and me. It is set in the 1970s.  

How good is your Hindi?

I am spectacular in whatever I do (laughs). I read Sanskrit too.

I am a Rajput but have lived in different cities of the country because my father was in the Army. I have lived in Kolkata, Sikkim, Kerala... 

As an outsider, how difficult is to get work in the industry?

Very difficult. If you are not a film star's kid or do not know any producer or director, it is next to impossible to get work. But if you are talented, nobody can deny you.  

What worked for you?

My brilliance, nobody else can do what I can. Very few people in the world can do what I do.

There is no competition.

I am taller than most people in the world. My inspiration Jackie Chan is 5.5. I am three times bigger than him muscularly and height-wise. Even he can’t do what I can. 

IMAGE: Vidyut Jammwal/ INSTAGRAM

Since action is your forte, does it restrict you from getting other kinds of roles? Are you worried of being typecast?

If Michael Jackson is called the King of Pop, would he mind it? It’s a great thing.  

I don’t mind being called excellent in what I do. I don’t mind being typecast. I am very good at what I do, nobody can do what I do.

I am the best action hero.

If you are the best in something, you should be that.

Tigmanshu Dhulia came up with a romantic action drama. I loved his idea. It’s not that people aren’t offering me different roles but I am choosy about what I do. As actors, we need to do different things but stick to the core.

People like us, who do not belong to this industry, have to be 100 percent in what they do.  

Could you tell us a bit about Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Yaara?

My character grows from five years to 50. It’s set between 1970 and 1995.  

My entry is when I am 21 years old. It's a story between my character and Shruti. I gained 18-19 kilos and then lost a lot. They had prosthetics also; it’s like wearing a fake moustache but you get used to it.

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Rajul Hegde / in Mumbai