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Salman Khan in the driver’s seat with ‘Race 3’

The Bollywood superstar is the main attraction in this heist thriller being pulled off by Khan and his on-screen family this Eid

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Tabloid

It’s a race to the top for Bollywood actor Salman Khan this Eid.

As he gets ready to roll out his high-octane thriller filled with car-chases and bullet sprays in the UAE on June 14, Gulf News tabloid! gives you a lowdown on the star-studded film that was extensively filmed in the UAE. Though it’s difficult to figure out who’s double-crossing whom in the Race series, here’s what we know so far about Race 3:

TEN THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT RACE 3

1. Race 3 spells entry of Salman Khan

It was another Khan — Saif Ali Khan — that catapulted Race into a riveting thriller series to watch out for in Bollywood. After headlining the first two instalments in 2008 and 2013, Saif Ali Khan is no longer a part of the new chapter.

Anil Kapoor, who played a detective in the original, has been retained in Race 3. Jacqueline Fernandez, who played the love interest of John Abraham’s character in Race 2, has also been retained. A new director, Remo D’Souza of dance drama ABCD fame, has called the shots in Race 3, replacing director-duo Abbas Mastan.

2. The Race series is a snazzy portrait of wealth, glamour, greed and narcissism

Those who are familiar with the Race series will vouch for the fact that the franchise is always teeming with wealthy men and designer-clad women who have a penchant for betrayal and deception. For those in the Race universe, no relationship is sacrosanct and most of their actions are dictated by greed and the hunt for power.

If the first franchise had the suave business tycoon (Saif Ali Khan) eliminating his brother from his life as he fought for the control of his business empire, the third instalment isn’t likely to be any different. Expect a face-off between its main players Sikander (Salman Khan) and Yash (Bobby Deol) as they fight for world domination. While the plot of Race 3 is being kept a secret, all we know is that Sikander, played by Salman Khan, is involved in a high-stakes heist.

3. Race 3 was filmed extensively in Abu Dhabi

Just six months after wrapping up the filming of Tiger Zinda Hai, Salman Khan was back in Abu Dhabi this March to film the stunt sequences of Race 3 for more than 35 days. They shot at locations including the Emirates Palace Hotel, Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, Adnec, Emirates Steel, St Regis Abu Dhabi and the Liwa Desert. Khan expressed his happiness about filming in the UAE. “It is wonderful to be back in Abu Dhabi, which is such an incredible filming location. Last year, we spent much of our 70-day shoot for Tiger Zinda Hai on the city’s incredible backlot, so it will be exciting to explore more of the Emirate with Race 3 as we shoot across six locations,” said Khan in a statement.

4. Bobby Deol and Saqib Saleem join the Race 3 family

Keeping up with the cast of the Race series is as difficult as keeping with the multiple motives and double-crossing. While the first instalment saw the characters played by Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna as two warring brothers from a rich dynasty indulging in one-upmanship, the second part saw Deepika Padukone and John Abraham as one of its main players. The third instalment also boasts a star-studded ensemble with a different set of actors. Deol and Saleem are the new players.

5. Jacqueline Fernandez, who performed her own stunts in Race 3, suffered an eye injury

If you want proof of Fernandez’s commitment to her craft and work, then this piece of information might do the trick. The Sri Lankan native took to Instagram to reveal that she suffered a permanent eye injury during Race 3 filming schedule.

“So it’s a permanent injury and my iris will never be a perfect round again but so, so grateful I can see,” she said.

6. The action sequences have been choreographed by Hollywood’s Tom Struthers, who has worked on films such as the Titanic and the Batman franchise

After working in the blockbuster Tiger Zinda Hai, the action director, who has won two Filmfare awards in Bollywood, was back at work in Abu Dhabi. Action sequences featuring car explosions and chases are some of the constants in a Race franchise. Race 3 is likely to milk the same hit formula.

“I did two explosions today with two Jeeps. It was huge. Absolutely huge,” said Struthers in an earlier interview with tabloid!.

“Hopefully it [Race 3] will be the best of the franchise, as you always hope for with these things,” he added. Struthers is equally impressed with Khan.

“He’s on par with his personality and with the way he behaves with some of the other actors I’ve worked with, like Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio. He’s in the absolute same category. [He exhibits] professionalism, gets on with it, and is a gentleman to everyone around him. He doesn’t throw tantrums or anything like that.”

7. One liners, even if slightly cheesy, make Race stand apart

Even if the characters from Race are deceiving and betraying people without an ounce of contrition, it’s the one-liners before they go for the jugular of their enemies that are worth watching. The latest one goes: “You don’t need enemies, when you have a family”. Slow clap.

8. Nothing sells better than Salman Khan

According to the latest news reports published by English news daily Mumbai Mirror, Race 3 has bagged a Rs1.3 billion (Dh70 million) satellite rights deal with a major television network, toppling the figure that Aamir Khan secured for his film Dangal. Touted as the highest television deal for a Bollywood film, Race 3 beat Dangal, which was reportedly sold for Rs1.1 billion for its satellite rights. With this development, Race 3 has reportedly recovered its filming costs.

9. Salman Khan was in the midst of a personal crisis during Race 3 filming

The notorious actor had to return abruptly from Abu Dhabi while filming Race 3 in April and appear in front of the court in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, to face a trial where he was accused of poaching and killing two rare antelopes. The case stretches back to 1998, when Khan allegedly went hunting with several other actors outside a forest reserve near Jodhpur while shooting the film Hum Saath Saath Hain. The actor, who earned $37 million (Dh135.8 million) last year, spent two days in the Jodhpur Central Jail before he was let out on bail and subsequently lodged an appeal against the conviction. Shooting resumed for Race 3 in Mumbai since the actor was advised not leave the country due to the court hearings. It isn’t the first time that the Race 3 hero has been embroiled in a controversy. An appeal to his acquittal in the 2003 hit-and-run case in which a homeless person died is being heard in the Supreme Court.

10. Race 3 will capitalise on the Eid break

Love him or hate him, there’s no ignoring that Eid belongs to Salman Khan in Bollywood. The actor is known to roll out his biggest releases during this festive break (Think Bodyguard and Wanted). Race 3 is all set to capitalise on the holiday ahead.

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Don’t miss it!

Race 3 releases in the UAE on June 14.

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THE RETURN OF BOBBY DEOL

While Salman Khan is likely to be the main draw of Race 3, this film spells the return of Bobby Deol who has been going through a rough patch in his career. The actor, who was popular in the 1990s with hits such as Soldier and Gupt, is back in the public eye this Eid.

Here is his take on his latest thriller and why Salman Khan turned out to be “an angel” in his life…

Three adjectives to describe Race 3: Vroom, vroom, vroom…

All about Race 3: “It’s a cool film and my fans have been waiting to see me in such a glamorous and stylised film. I play Yash, who’s suave and slick. I can’t describe my character as I may reveal its plot. It’s a whodunit which makes you wonder who did it all or who did not?”

His experience of filming in Abu Dhabi: “I loved the local food. This time, I got to explore Liwa Desert. It was hot while filming, but it was great to see the dunes.”

On working with action choreographer Tom Struthers: “He’s very prepared and takes care of the safety. He’s also organised, although the action was huge it was all done effortlessly. Plus, it’s always fun to be a part of action sequences where you see cars being blown up.”

His favourite dialogue from Race 3:Humare business main jitney dushman kam ho, utna business badta hai.” [The fewer enemies you have in business, the more your empire grows.]

His diet and exercise for playing Yash: “I put in a lot of hard work. I worked out for an hour and then did cardio for 45 minutes every day. I controlled my food and went on a high-protein, low-carb diet. Everyone in this film is into fitness and in Abu Dhabi, we all just met in the gym besides the film sets. So we worked out a lot. Salman Khan also gave his input. He gave me his own trainer to work out with. Now, I spend a lot of time in the gym thanks to Salman Khan.”

On working with Salman Khan who was going through a tumultuous time with the court cases during filming: “We were like a big happy family. Salman Khan has such a good sense of humour… He’s an awesome person and he’s amazing. Nobody is as selfless and giving as Salman Khan. I feel blessed that he is a part of my life.”

On his own journey and career in Hindi film: “I had my ups and downs. But all I wanted to do was to be an actor. There’s no business like show business.”

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