Rohit Shetty has no hesitation in admitting that Goa is his ‘lucky’ location. “I have been shooting there for the last five years since the Golmaal series took off. Now, the locals believe I’m one of them,” laughs the director, who recently went back to film some mind-boggling stunts for Singham that opens this Friday.
Rohit chose to shoot on the waterfront and at the crowded Donna Paula, a well-known tourist spot. He even got permission to film a car sequence in the building that houses the state’s archeological department. “Both the ministry and the residents were really co-operative. It was almost as if I was a local boy,” he smiles.
Rohit’s superhit franchise has made him a favourite with the kids too. He recalls how he was filming a car chase sequence in Panjim. They were close to a school and after the last bell rang signaling the end of another academic day, the kids came running out to where they were shooting. Initially, everyone assumed that they were interested in the movie.
But it turned out that they wanted to meet the Golmaal director and refused to leave till Rohit had befriended them. “The school buses were ready to ply them home but they refused to get on them. They were tired and hungry and my unit was worried about their frantic mothers. I was in a van working out the details of the shoot with my cast and crew when some assistant directors came and dragged me out saying I had to chat with these kids and pack them home,” reminisces Rohit. “Would you believe it, they even wanted my phone number. God, they really made me feel like a star.”
Singham, which is a remake of the superhit Tamil Surya starrer by the same name, has the hit team of Ajay Devgn and Rohit Shetty returning to the kind of hardcore ‘maar dhaad’ their fathers, action director Veeru Devgn and the late actor-cum-fight master MB Shetty specialised in.
Says Rohit, “Hand-to-hand fights that we grew up watching are not new to Hindi cinema but we haven’t seen anything like it in the last eight-10 years, so I guess this kind of herogiri and dialoguebaazi will be a novelty for today’s generation. I have my fingers crossed.”