The end of the week will see one of the most anticipated movies of the year release across the country. Being dubbed in Telugu and Tamil, Dhoom 3 stars Bollywood actors Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra, who reprise their roles as ACP Jai Dixit and the bumbling side-kick Ali respectively, while Aamir Khan steps in as the anti-hero and Katrina Kaif the female lead opposite him. With the promos showing a circus agile Aamir and Katrina with Abhishek and Uday in pursuit, the latest edition to the action franchise promises a much more adrenaline rushed spectacle.
So quite naturally, the quartet, along with director Vijay Krishna Acharya (better known as Victor) elicited an equally enthusiastic response when they came to the city on Tuesday to promote the film. While Aamir sported a black bowler hat that has become trademark to his character Sahir, Abhishek looked mean in a pair of metallic reflector aviators. Katrina and Uday looked dapper in semi-formal blazers, though Victor looked the real anti-hero in a handle-bar moustache and the lights reflecting off his clean-shaven head. It was nevertheless Aamir’s show throughout as he fielded questions about the film, his character, the multi-starring franchise and dangling from the ceiling with no safety-nets or harness.
“I loved the first Dhoom film and I completely love Jai and Ali. When Victor came with the script the first time, I was blown away and couldn’t not do the film after that. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some really good people and that’s been great,” began the actor. Though this happens to be his second negative role after Fanaa, Aamir says the comparisons between the two are irrelevant. “In Fanaa, I played a terrorist who kills people. Sahir however doesn’t do those kind of things, he doesn’t really harm other people. So, I’m not really much of a villain.”
Typical to the Dhoom series, the film seems to follow the same template where the nemesis takes over a larger chunk of the film, leaving many wondering if being relegated hasn’t bothered Abhishek Bachchan. “Of course the film has this template and that was a conscious decision. We’ve always looked at trying to make the film bigger and better. So naturally the anti-hero has to be more challenging than the last, otherwise it would be too boring to see the same people catching the bad guy with ease. If I may, it’s like James Bond where the villain is always more challenging. That’s how I’ve chosen my films – as long as I’ve had fun and they’re marketable, I’m fine with them.”
Given the multi-starrer and the emotional attachment Abhishek and Uday would have with the franchise, we asked Victor how tricky it may have been balancing the dynamics between his stars. Flashing a happy smile, Victor jokes, “I cast nice people,” before adding, “They each bring their own to the film but at the same time it takes a collaborative effort.”
So what did the actors learn from each other while working together? Katrina is quick to answer, saying, “Whether I learnt anything else or not, I learnt how to play chess from Aamir. And of course I lost all the time.”
With much being said about the circus stunts (Aamir’s and Katrina’s characters in the film are circus acrobats), the actors also shared some of their experiences from shooting. Says Katrina, “For me the best moment while shooting was when I had to twirl from a rope mid-air. I really had to practice and struggle with it, so it was quite exhilarating when I finally managed it. I was confident Aamir wouldn’t be able to do it. But sure enough, he did it better and faster, and that was my worst moment.” Grinning, Aamir, adds, “I watched a lot of the Cirque du Soleil (a Canadian entertainment company known for their circus and acrobatic) for reference and trained in various crafts, including tap dance. The challenge was in doing these stunts and making them look effortless. I did most of them, but yes there was a body double as well. Nevertheless, there were some really dangerous stunts we did without any safety harness.”
So were there any moments for the actors where their life flashed in front of them? “Oh, I definitely had that moment,” quips Uday, who goes on, “I was doing this stunt on a bike and it was actually stupid of me because I shouldn’t have been doing it. I ended up fracturing my leg. So you’ll see a lot of shots that cut out my leg because it was in a cast.”
For the younger Chopra, Dhoom may also be his last film as the actor termed it his swansong recently. When asked about it, Aamir went into mock surprise repeatedly asking Uday when he announced his decision. Uday however quickly confirmed that he was just focusing on a different career and acting may happen some time in the future. “This is my swansong for now. I’m shifting gears and we will be bringing Aha Kalyanam in Telugu starring Nani, the trailer for which will be screened along with Dhoom. But if a script came along, I would think of doing it and if there was another Dhoom and I am cast for it, I would definitely do it,” he says.
The film is set to release this Friday.