Vidyut Jamwal’s Commando was one of the unexpected hits of 2013. Not many trade pundits bet on Commando, but it turned out to be a sleeper hit. High-octane action and a new action hero on the block made it one of the most watched films on TV.
Vidyut credits television for Commando’s success, “It was totally due to a strong word of mouth. Television started showing it and people showed tremendous interest. Then we thought of coming up with a sequel,” he tells HT.
Watch: In conversation with Vidyut Jammwal and Adah Sharma ahead of Commando 2
He is in the national capital to promote Commando 2. And after a raft of interviews, he still keeps the conversation focused on his next release. “It’s a great feeling and prompts you to work harder.”
But one can’t rely only on stunt scenes in Bollywood where romantic films still rule the roost. So, were his recent music videos with Huma Qureshi and Urvashi Rautela a conscious effort to also paint himself as a romantic hero? Pat comes the reply, “Every music video is a training ground. They teach you to romance, dance the ideal way.”
Commando 2’s heroine Adah Sharma waits to get a word in as Jamawal holds forth. She was noticed in her debut Bollywood film 1920, and she has been acting in the Southern film industry. Lately, she was seen opposite Sidharth Malhotra in Hasee Toh Phasee. She says, “Tamil and Telugu film industries are just a flight away. Also producers are willing to adjust. Also, things become easier if your co-stars are good. That way, Vidyut is superlative.”
Vidyut jokingly says, “I am the best.” Adah certifies, “He is one man army.” There couldn’t be a better timing to promote the film’s tag line.
He may be an action star in his own right, but he doesn’t comment on other such heroes on Bollywood. “I already am the biggest action hero in Bollywood. Nobody can do what I can. If they can, they should display it, just not talk about it.”
For a non-star kid, challenging the set norms in highly nepotistic Bollywood is the only way forward. He adds, “I am the new age action hero and I seek inspiration from YouTube. There are videos of some great athletes there. When I see somebody doing amazing stunts, I want to be better than them.”
He adds, “In Commando, I did somersault from the top of a car, people said ‘what’s next’, so this time I am sliding beneath a car. You always need to get better at what you do.”
Commando 2 was supposed to release on January 6, but was rescheduled for March 3. Was demonetisation the reason behind it? Adah evades the question with a broad smile, “Since I love Vidyut so much, I will let him speak first.”
Vidyut is in a chatty mood, “We had finished shooting for the film, demonetisation happened much later. I personally think it’s a good thing, but Commando 2 is about black money. When I wake up in the morning and listen to Baba Ramdev talking about black money, I want it back. And Commando will do it. (Laughs)”
Adah is happy about her role in the film. “Commando 2 is serious in tone, but my character brings a lot of fun into it. I am playing a Hyderabadi girl who says wrong things at wrong times. I am familiar with the area and tried to pick small things on the sets as well. I also worked hard on polishing my accent.”
Jamwal is the ‘commando’, but Adah is the new entrant to the franchise, the latest fad in Bollywood. Did he act pricey on the sets? She banters, “Sir doesn’t want to coordinate.”
Jamwal retorts, “I am one man army, I don’t follow orders.” This is what he says in the film’s trailer as well.
Deven Bhojani, the famous Karima of Dekh Bhai Dekh, is the director of Commando 2. Like Dilip Ghosh of Commando, he is also a first-timer. Vidyut defends the choice, “I believe new people give more than 100 percent. Deven has worked much harder than anybody else because it was already a set franchise and he has to leave his impression with the sequel.”
The pre-release round belongs to the team of Commando 2, but will they strike gold at the ticket window as well?
Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/@nawabjha