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Kamal Haasan has accident while performing stunt

IndiaGlitz [Saturday, January 29, 2005]

Actor Kamal Haasan suffered injuries in what could have been a serious accident while shooting for his new film "Mumbai Express".

It was one of the freakiest accidents during a seemingly harmless stunt," said Haasan, laughing uncomfortably at the memory.

The actor recalled the harrowing incident: "The funny part is, I've done some very dangerous stunts for this film, like riding a motorbike with a child over rooftops. And it all went smoothly. This one was relatively easy.

"The child, Hardik, and I were riding the bike at ground level when I lost control of the throttle. Every undulation suddenly became a high jump. We were jumping almost six feet high and then we crashed into the wall.

"I had to take the weight of the child to protect him. Luckily there was not a scratch on Hardik, though I'm battered and bruised.

"When it happened I thought: 'Shit! My April 14 release will get postponed.' Although it felt like a fracture, luckily it wasn't.

"I've already suffered 33 fractures. Now I'm literally limping back to normalcy.

I'm already working again. My stuntman, Vikram Dharma, and all of us feel silly about it. So uncalled for."

Asked about other accidents while shooting action sequences, Haasan told  "In a Tamil film, 'Kaligan', 10 years ago, I did an action scene in a subway. Again, it was a relatively easy sequence. But a car speeded up and hit me smack on my spine. I landed on top of the car. Then, when it halted, I went under the wheel.

"I dislocated my jaw, my nose was cracked and I had three fractures. I thought I'd never walk again. That's when I made a comedy called 'Ladies Only'."

Asked if it was worthwhile to take such risks for a few minutes of thrills, Haasan replied: "Funnily, nothing happens in the really risky shots. Accidents happen in the unlikeliest of places.

"But, yes, we actors tend to follow Steve McQueen's policy: 'Why use a body-double when you've a good body?'"

The actor turns philosophical: "Life is so short. We need to be careful."

Kamal Haasan was awarded a doctorate Jan 17 at a Tamil Nadu university.

"My brother was very happy. He always wanted to attend my graduation. It hadn't happened until now. The ceremony was quite embarrassing for me since some really educated people were there.

"I almost felt like 'Vassool Raja' faking a degree. But I was moved to tears when my guru K. Balachander read out his speech. I didn't deserve his lavish praise.

"It felt like my life had come a full circle because at the age of 17 I had started my career as a clapper-boy with him."

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