Bollywood stars seem hell-bent on turning the adage ‘just what the doctor ordered’ on its head. To get into shape, perfect a dance sequence or pull off daring stunts, they will put themselves through rigorous physical training. And they often do it at the risk of injury or aggravating a health concern.
The latest to join this list is Salman Khan, who seems to be leaving no stone unturned to perfect the stunts for his next film, Ek Tha Tiger. The actor was suffering from a nerve disorder, known in medical terms as Trigeminal Neuralgia, and underwent surgery last year for the same. Now, going against the doctor’s advice to avoid any heavy-duty action, he underwent extensive Parkour training for a month.
The challenging physical discipline involves running, climbing and leaping, and utilises significant upper-body strength. Ask Salman about this, and his logic is as irreverent as ever: “Who listens to the doctor? If I get to do some more action films, I will.”
Director Kabir Khan says, “The script demanded a lot of daredevilry. Salman was determined to do the stunts himself. We were
surprised that in spite of immense pain, he performed some of the edgy action sequences.”
An insider from the project adds that the film includes long chase sequences and hand-to-hand combat. “He was in strenuous training for 30 days before he started shooting,” says the source.
The problem was diagnosed during the shooting of Partner (2007), and Salman was suffering even while shooting for Veer (2010). He was under heavy medication to numb the pain. And finally went in for surgery to the US last year. He was under medical observation for around two months before he resumed shooting.
In Ek Tha Tiger, Salman plays an Indian secret agent who is sent to Dublin to investigate a case. The promos are a pointer to the action that Hollywood stunt director Conrad Palmisano choreographed.
Our source adds, “There are scenes of Salman jumping off buildings and hurtling over parapets. He did some of the important action sequences himself, for which he refused to use a body double. He wanted his character to look real.”
Next time you see the actor writhing in pain on-screen, know that the anguish is for real. In harm’s wayShah Rukh Khan:
Underwent knee surgery during the shoot of RA.One. Akshay Kumar:
Had to go to Germany for treatment for his shoulder while shooting for Rowdy Rathore.Ranveer Singh:
Met with an accident while shooting for Lootera (unreleased).Aamir Khan:
Injured himself while shooting for Ghajini. Hrithik Roshan:
Had a knee injury while shooting for Krrish 2 (unreleased).