In his 2011 debut film ‘Force’, Vidyut Jamwal played the villain who could nearly bash up the hero John Abraham.
The testosterone-charged scene in which both are buffed, shirtless and stare at each other menacingly made it a scintillating watch. Interestingly, despite having a certified eye candy such as Abraham in the same frame, Bollywood fans sat up and took notice of the baddie.
The villain who achieved the impossible is back. In his second Hindi feature releasing this Thursday, ‘Commando — One Man Army’, the 34-year-old actor plays a hero who’s out to save the world.
“You know what? I was born to do action,” declares Jamwal who claims to have done all the stunts in ‘Commando’ by himself.
“When we were discussing the script, I was particular that we won’t use stunt doubles, cables or 3D effects. So what you see in the movie is real. You won’t spot anything fake in this film.” says Jamwal.
The actor, who has no film industry connections and was born to a father who was in the Indian military, feels cinema appeases his love for action.
“I am what you call self-made. I hail from Jammu but I have never lived there. Because of the nature of my dad’s job, I have lived in parts of India that you may never have heard of. I discovered kalaripayattu in Kerala and I have been doing different kinds of martial arts since the age of three,” says Jamwal.
The beefy actor trains in martial arts for eight hours everyday. He also throws in strength training into the mix.
“I wish I could train all day … Taking it up as a sport wasn’t an option because in India, cricket and cinema are the two religions. So, whatever I do in the future will be revolving around action. You will see me in action comedy, action romance or action drama.”
According to him, executing action sequences without manipulating them with stunt doubles is all about conquering the fear in your mind.
“I have experienced the rawest form of fear. But the thrill comes from pushing yourself and getting past those boundaries in your head. This is not a Bollywood film where one hero punches and 50 guys fly all around him. What you see is real in this film. I kicked people and got kicked too.”
A vegetarian who gets his protein intake from tofu, Jamwal found the stunt in Commando where he jumps through a car window challenging. The film was shot in the picturesque terrains of Manali in north India.
“I rehearsed for that stunt by doing it in a plastic frame for days. But once the cameras were switched on, it was scary because it meant you had to be flexible. It was mind over body then. I got it done in five takes,” said Jamwal. In the film, he plays an Indian military officer who has zero tolerance to wimps who cannot stand for themselves.
“When I was shooting for Vipul Shah’s [producer] ‘Force’, he saw me doing the action scenes and made a promise. If he ever made an action film, he would offer me the lead role. He did. I can’t wait to see what the audiences think of it,” said Jamwal about the producer who is behind hits such as ‘Aankhen’ and ‘Namastey London’.
While he waited for Shah’s ‘Commando’ to take shape, Jamwal ventured into south Indian films. There again, he made a good villain and delivered hits including ‘Thuppakki’ and ‘Billa 2’.
“I am ready to risk everything for cinema. I have grown up watching films of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Jackie Chan. They have been my heroes for the longest time and I want to show what I am capable of. I want to show what Indian films can do in terms of action.”