Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, who is ready to roll out the seemingly unstoppable franchise ‘Tiger 3’ in UAE cinemas on November 11, claims that he jumped aboard the latest chapter without even waiting for a narration of the script. Clearly, the faith in the makers of the spectacular derring-do franchise transcended his need to go into any details like the plot or the climax.
Directed by Maneesh Sharma and produced by Aditya Chopra of Yash Raj Films, the 57-year-old star returns as the Indian Intelligence operative Avinash Singh Rathore - known as Tiger on the field - in the third installment of the hit franchise.
“When Adi told me the third script is ready and asked me to come for a narration, I immediately told him that ‘Tiger is always ready’,” said Khan in an interview over-mail with Gulf News. The Diwali release, also starring Katrina Kaif and Emraan Hashmi as the antagonist, promises to be bigger, bolder, and better. Excerpts from our interview with Khan as we talk about his character, patriotism, and more ...
The ‘Tiger’ films are known for their high-octane action sequences. What kind of physical and mental preparation do you go through for these demanding roles?
If you love what you do, then it’s not tough or demanding. You just do what you have to do. ‘Tiger’ is a franchise that’s very close to my heart, and while it is demanding, I thoroughly enjoyed prepping and shooting for this. When Adi (Aditya Chopra) told me the third script is ready and asked me to come for a narration, I immediately told him that ‘Tiger is always ready’. In fact, even before the narration, I told him I would come for the shoot whenever it starts. Also, we had an international crew of action directors and choreographers for ‘Tiger 3’, so it was a very smooth shoot. Even though we shot in various locations and climate conditions, they were very professional and had absolute clarity of how this needs to be done. ‘Tiger 3’ has some intense action scenes which I am sure will be a visual spectacle for audiences.
Tiger is known for his strong moral code in this franchise, but the latest installment seems to suggest that he has gone rogue. Was that aspect the most appealing to you?
The character of Tiger evolves, and his emotional graph as well as inner journey expands in this film. Whether he has gone rogue or is doing the right thing, needs to be experienced by audiences in theaters. Tiger has asked his audiences to give his son, his [father’s] character certificate. So let’s see what happens.
The character, Tiger, is known for his patriotism and loyalty to his country. How do you personally connect with these qualities, and how do they influence your portrayal of the character?
India is my homeland, my place of work, and the country that has given me immeasurable love. Our country is diverse and beautiful. My patriotism is a way of life, so I don’t wear it on my sleeve. Tiger embodies the good and patriotic in all of us.
What, according to you, is the most defining aspect of a patriot, keeping Tiger’s character in mind?
A patriot will do his or her very best for their country. I don’t think you can define love for one’s nation.
The ‘Tiger’ franchise has a significant global fan following. How do you connect with fans worldwide, and what do you think makes this franchise so universally appealing?
Audiences have a connection with my character Tiger, and they have followed his journey from the word go. They feel a connection with those characters. I also feel this is the first Indian spy franchise, and so fans connect with that. I am grateful that my fans love to watch the Tiger installments so much.
How have you seen Katrina Kaif evolve as a co-star, actress, and a human being through the making of Tiger installments?
A: When Katrina steps onto the set, you can witness her passion and determination in every scene of hers. She invests an incredible amount of effort and time into preparing for her roles, her action scenes, and her dance sequences. Katrina’s level of commitment is evident in the way she immerses herself in the world of the characters, going above and beyond, to deliver good performances. She has always been like that, and that’s a commendable feat.
What is your personal favorite “Tiger” film, and why does it hold a special place in your heart?
Each and every one of them because I think I have given these films my all. ‘Tiger’ franchise will be forever special to me.
If Tiger had to collaborate with another hero from the spy genre, would it be SRK from Pathaan?
Tiger and Pathaan have collaborated once in ‘Pathaan’. So, I’m sure they will collaborate again when the time comes.
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'Tiger 3' is out in UAE cinemas on November 11