You have so many releases coming up, what makes Dhoom 2 special?
Itís definitely a first in my career and itís interesting itís happened in the 10th year of my film career. Of course thatís by choice, its not a moment if I may say so, a moment I have been waiting for to happen to me. In the sense that there have been offers to do roles in the western mode but I have been very choosy, very evident in the choice of films that I have done and made so far. This was a tough offer to resist, because I thought it was perfect, if this was what I wanted to bring on board, this was the perfect premise to do so. So in terms of playing an out and out westernized character, so obviously youth oriented and trendsetting, so obviously fashionable and fun, but at the same time racy, evidently hot and super cool. This was the perfect premise to do so.
What was the best moment during the course of shooting the film?
The film as a whole, but like I say apart from the part of the absolute thrill of working on celluloid, I must confess, I thoroughly enjoyed the team, I enjoyed the gang, off-screen as well, because like I just shared with you earlier, that it was so nice that everybody was just being, it was the whole team. There were a lot of laughs, a lot of fun. There has been a lot of talk about the fitness regime, something that I only explored very honestly for a month to 5 weeks before we started the film. It has only been my schedules throughout the last year, my different films Iíve been working on, I didnít get a chance really focus on the fitness. So for all the talk in the media, this is the truth, it was just 4-5 weeks last year before we started. Then after making Guru, both Abhishek and me had to put on weight for Maniís film, so we resumed the schedule. I suggested we take Deepika (the fitness instructor) with us because we were doing the action part of the film, and whatever little bit we could do, which was barely 2 weeks, while filming, but the fun part was that everybody would be in the gym, I mean everybody not just the actors. And it was fun because while we would all try to get into a bit of a routine, I think we were just having so much fun hanging around, that weíd be just about that sincere and then the next plan to go out to dinner, which we would all do very happily and try and hold on to the myths that if I gorge now it will show 20 days later, so that we are on safe turf, it was like a college /road trip.
Did you enjoy shooting on location in South Africa?
South Africa incidentally has a home turf kind of significance in my life, because yes, I did win my title in Sun City of Johannesburg. And I have been there a couple of times, not that often, but a couple of times, my work took me back there, to Cape Town to film Dil Ka Rishta extensively which was again a family experience. So my memories are very very warm, and people have been extremely loving and its something that a lot of my film fraternity really cherish and enjoy with the people of South Africa. Even the year I was giving up the title, when Amitji was on board the panel of the jury, at the pageant, it was overwhelming to see the strength with which our people had descended to Sun City and the applause that he was rendered just took the entire pageantís breath away because it was so good to see, and such an awakening to the rest of the world to recognize, how passionate our people are about our cinema, and the members of our film fraternity, and the love that they are so generous with.
Did you do any kind of special preparation for this role?
Visual was very imperative, as a pre-requisite, its something we as a team agreed we definitely would work on, as I do work on every film, here it zeroed in on the physical appearance in terms of fitness. And it was a body language and a body type that I hadnít brought to celluloid before, and since I was going to dress a certain way, I needed to just be the person who wore those clothes, very naturally and not because it was an element of worked on excitement. I am glad that it has turned out exciting, that wasnít the reason for the costume. People who have well toned bodies as we look around, naturally dress a certain way, when youíve really worked on your midriff you see that they are happy to wear shorter tops, when you have worked on your legs, they naturally wear short skirts, not because they need to show their legs but they feel natural and comfortable in it. So that was a body type that I was determined to work on, and I was very glad to discover that the first time in my life that I have got down to working out, my body responds very quickly and its very reassuring to know that.
Can we expect to see you doing more action films in the international front?
Well I started in fact just pre Dhoom 2 I made, Last Legion, which was definitely action not contemporary though and I experienced sword fighting and I am a warrior in that film, so I completed that movie before I started Dhoom. So, that would technically be my first experience in the action genre, but it wasnít in the contemporary times, so I am glad that within the year, between last year and now, I have actually got through and tasted action spectrum in Roman times and contemporary biker times. Its been a lot of fun, its been a huge adrenaline rush, exactly what I was looking forward to and like I tease I have tasted blood. I canít wait to have more such experiences because they are really fulfilling and itís a rush that canít be explained, but itís a definite high, thatís the most fantastic part of our job, because we get to experience which probably people just think or dream about.