What made you take up Drona?
I think primarily the script and the scale of the film. And of course the character. It was something I have never done in my life.
Superheroes are someone we all look up to in admiration.
Did you look up to any Superhero?
As a child yes, I adored many superheroes like 'Mandrake' and 'Phantom', all the comics that we had then. Also, there is 'Batman' and 'Superman'.
What is your character in the film called and
My character is called 'Riz Raizada', and there is no theory as to how that was formed not that I am aware of it. I think the writer just thought of a name and we just stuck to it.
When the character was narrated to you, how had you
pictured yourself? Did it come out the same way?
We had to work a lot on those things. Right from the start, Anahita and Ryan, the hair stylist, and all of us were working together on it. From designing the character, his looks, his costume, his make up and hair evolved after many many trials and then finally it just fell into place. By then we had worked out so many looks and styles; they almost molested by hair with so many gels and styling products but the result was fabulous.
Bollywood has a list of negative characters like
'Mogambo', 'Sir Juda'; do you think your character would become
part of that league?
'Riz Raizada' does have all the potential to become the iconic character. The way he has been created itself brings together the right ingredients to reach that level.
Tell me something about 'Riz Raizada'...
Riz is an evil character who has been carried forward for generations and generations. The film is placed in the modern time but is still legendary. His whole idea and ambition is to become the most powerful man in the universe and he will go to any length to achieve it. In spite of being evil he uses his dark humor to amuse himself.
Tell me about some of the stunts that you have done in
Drona. Was it difficult?
Not really, because essentially I am a sports person so for me action was not a problem. In addition to that, we had trained a lot for the scenes in the film. Both Abhishek and I would practice our sword fights for days just in order to make sure that no one gets hurt in the action sequence. And I think once I have done a sequence, it no longer becomes difficult. I found the role and the entire journey of Drona very intriguing and enjoyable. For me, it is like a role I never thought I would do. The film brings in the whole feel of fantasy and makes it so real. It feels like we have gone back to our childhood when our imaginations knew no limit.
Which is your favorite action film?
Favorites are something I generally do not like to answer coz I can never choose from so many. The list of great action movies is so long like The Batman series, Spiderman, Indiana Jones, Steven Spielberg films, the Die Hard series and now among Hindi films you will have Drona.
Tell us about your equation with Abhishek
Absolutely good, we did Sarkar together, and now we are in Drona together. He is absolutely jovial on the sets he has a very good sense of humor and he keeps the entire unit lively and happy.
What's your take on Goldie Behl's
Goldie is a perfectionist and his imagination is absolutely fertile. The way he has written the script itself is a proof of that. Because when I read the script first time, I was like completely taken into the film. Secondly, He's completely open to improvising, productive, and quick in his thinking which helps the actor a lot. Goldie was very receptive to everyone's ideas; it was the collaborative effort of the entire team. He is as wild as I am, so it helped a lot.
What locations were selected to shoot the film and the
place you enjoyed shooting the most?
I think Prague, which is in Czechoslovakia, was brilliant and it has a unique nature to it. I think a lot of money was spent on finding the perfect location and shooting in that perfect place with the right art director. Riz's character was very expensive along with his huge army of 500 soldiers known as the 'black hood army'. Their faces are not seen as they have a hood, then their horses. A lot of money was spent even on the architecture of the castle, which was a combination of Victorian and gothic. It looked both majestic and evil at the same time.
Priyanka has also done stunts in the film. Did you see
any of those shots if yes then how would you rate her as an action
I have seen some of them and she is absolutely fabulous. I think she is a completely flexible Rambo.
Throughout the entire film what's your favorite scene in
I have seen most of the film because special effects were going on and I am out of words to describe it. I think all the scenes have a high point because I had to play someone so different and I had to play Riz in the realm of a certain madness and to a certain extent it was a bit funny. So it was challenge doing each one of them.
Tell us something about the music of the film and your
I think Dhurv has done a wonderful job, my favorite number would be this song called 'Teri Bandagi'. It's a wonderful song.
Could you share with us one memorable moment of shooting
with the entire cast and crew?
I think the entire journey of Drona if it was to be condensed in the moment that's the one moment. Every time I wore the costume, I felt extremely majestic and powerful then the kind of decor I was standing in felt very powerful.
What else is in the pipeline?
I'm doing a film titled Aagese Right for UTV Spot Boy Production, then a couple of films with Anurag Kashyap which would probably start some time in December. Then an untitled film with Mr. Sudhir Mishra and an action drama and complete dhamaal film with Shilpa Shetty Productions. So far these things are in the pipeline.
Lastly, any message to your fans and
Nothing, I shall continue to do better and better whatever roles I play. That is a promise I can make to the audience. And to watch Drona.