Bollywood heroes have battled wild animals in films — Amitabh Bachchan took on a crocodile in Gangaa Jamunaa Saraswathi (1988), Hrithik Roshan fought an elephant in Jodhaa Akbar (2008) and Ajay Devgn locked horns with a tiger in Himmatwala. But when wild animals visit the sets, there are no acts of heroism, only panic and chaos. This is what recently happened on the sets of Prabhu Dheva’s R… Rajkumar, starring Shahid Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha and Sonu Sood, when a leopard dropped in unannounced.
“We were shooting near the Film City lake at around 1.30 in the night when we saw a leopard climbing up a lamp post. About 300-400 people present on the set panicked. But we fired dummy guns, which were used by the actors playing henchmen, to make noise and scare away the creature. The leopard slunk away to the other side of the lake,” says Viki Rajani, producer.
The sighting took place when Shahid and Sonu were shooting for the climax scene on Thursday, October 3. The shoot was stalled for about an hour. “Sonakshi was also present, but she was in her vanity van. We had enough security so it was not an issue and we continued shooting till five in the morning,” adds Rajani.
Film City guards took charge of the situation and helped the film’s team. “Yes, a leopard was seen near the lake when the team of R… Rajkumar was shooting late in the night. But our guards are well trained. They made noise using empty bottles to scare away the wild creature,” says Dilip Rayannavar, Studio Manager, Film City.