It could be designated the book of Weight and Humour. What happened to the stars and the director of the forthcoming film Knock Out is funny only to Priyadarshan or any other comedy director who might be tempted to make a film about the foodie"s festival that the sets of the film had become during shooting.
All because of the action director Allan Amin who turned out to be, in the words of Sanjay Dutt, the world"s best cook, his specialty being Bombay Duck and Pomfret and a cross section of continental cuisine.
The weight conscious stars and director resisted his food fury and cuisine attack as much as they could. Then it got too much to resist.
Says a source from the Knock Out set, “No matter where he went to shoot, Allan would set up his makeshift kitchen .he was constantly whipping up delicious aromatic dishes on the sets. Even the strongest resistance crumbled under the weight of the aromatic attack. Everyone in the cast was constantly tucking into the goodies laid out by him, oblivious of the calories they added to their build."
Director Mani Shankar who is 8 kilos bulkier after his delights laughs pleasurably at the culinary recollection, “What you"ve heard is absolutely true. He is an extraordinary gourmet chef. We all fattened ourselves during his extended sittings on the action storyboard."
For weeks, Mani Shankar and his cast were ensconced in Allan"s apartment in Mumbai eating their way through 7 course meals prepared by the action choreographer.
Says Mani Shankar, “The action storyboards were composed mainly in his kitchen. Between chopping up the garlic and peeling the potatoes he and I would quickly jot down an action brainwave before the idea got dissolved in the aroma of the spices and the curries."
Intentionally the film"s promo shows a restaurant where the villain grabs a kitchen knife and lunges at Sanjay Dutt. He pulls out another knife and slashes back.
Says Mani Shankar, “Food was constantly on our minds because of him. During shooting he would quickly conjure a master dish. Shooting would halt as me, Sanju, Kangana Ranaut and Irrfan Khan would tuck in greedily."
While it is not known how much weight the stars of Knock Out have gained the director Mani Shankar is desperately trying to lose all the extra kilos with a strict diet of milk porridge and thinned lassi.
Incidentally Kangana doesn"t show an ounce extra no matter how much she indulges in food. Says Mani, “I"ve seen her tuck into chunky meats and gravy. Not an ounce of it reaches her thin frame."