Akshay is good at action and great at romance: AR Murugadoss | bollywood | Hindustan Times
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Akshay is good at action and great at romance: AR Murugadoss

Their might be an unusual combination, but producer Vipul Shah and director AR Murugadoss’s collaboration on the action-drama, Holiday – A Soldier Is Never Off Duty is an anticipated one. Here, they both tell us about their experience of working together, and why Akshay Kumar was always their first choice for the lead role.

bollywood Updated: Jun 05, 2014 18:18 IST
Kavita Awaasthi

Their might be an unusual combination, but producer Vipul Shah and director AR Murugadoss’s collaboration on the action-drama, Holiday – A Soldier Is Never Off Duty is an anticipated one. Murugadoss, who has directed a Bollywood film after six years, says he has tweaked his south original, Thuppakki (2012), to make Holiday a sharper remake. Here, they both tell us about their experience of working together, and why Akshay Kumar was always their first choice for the lead role.

Read: Enough of so-called south-style action, Akshay Kumar goes realistic for Holiday

You're returning to directing a Bollywood film after six years (he last directed Ghajini; 2008). Does that add to the pressure?
Murugadoss: I knew there would be expectations. I didn’t feel the pressure while making the film, but I’m feeling some of it now (laughs). I didn’t think about the time gap because I was working on the script of Holiday, and then I also shot Thuppakki with the same script, so I was busy. I won’t take so much time for my next film.

Producer Vipul Shah and director AR Murugadoss.

Vipul, is casting Akshay in your films a given?
Vipul: No. I enjoy working with him, but as a producer, I go by the director’s vision and give him what he wants. ARM wanted him, so it was a sone pe suhaaga (an added bonus) situation for me.

How was it working with Akshay?
AR Murugadoss (ARM): It was wonderful. He’s good at action and great at romance. He’s such a big superstar. I was a bit nervous initially, but he put me at ease and we soon became good friends.

How was ARM as a director?
Vipul Shah (VS): He’s extremely organised, so he gave me a list of requirements for the shoot before the first day. Despite being a hot-shot director, he never gave me any trouble. The film was a difficult one to shoot, because the streets of Mumbai were our locations, and there were many things to manage. Plus, when I saw Thuppakki, I felt the rhythm and soul of the film, and I knew no one could have done a better job.

Have you made any changes in the Hindi version of the film?
ARM: You can’t compare the two films, but we did change some portions in the Hindi version, including a bit of the climax.

VS: The Tamil film was based in Mumbai as well. In fact, the original script was for a Hindi film, but since the Tamil version was made first, this is technically a remake. But instead of getting complacent, Murugadoss made small changes to make the film relevant to our audience.

Tell us about the film’s story?
VS: Holiday is a story about the operation of sleeper cells. Akshay is an army officer who returns home on a holiday, but as they say, a man in uniform is never off duty.