Sajid Nadiadwala’s soon-to-be-released Ranbir Kapoor-Priyanka Chopra starrer
, has been shot extensively in the US, including New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas. In Sin City, it was filmed at The Venetian Resort Casino, named one of the Best Luxury Hotels in 2009-2010 by Thomas Cook. It’s one of the “all-suites hotel” in Vegas and houses the 1,20,000-square feet Doge’s Palace Casino, that has an extensive variety of mega-jackpot slot machines, table games and sports betting.
“It took months of planning to get the required permission since no Hindi film had been shot there before. We didn’t want to film guerilla style, but out in the open, with helium balloons, dolly tracks and a crew of 150 people,” says Siddharth Anand, the director.
He adds that after
(2005), tourism in Melbourne went up by 26 per cent and after
Bachna Ae Haseeno
(2008), Italy and the Swiss glaciers became a must-visit. “So, on our first visit to Vegas to find locations, we spoke about how our film could give it’s tourism a boost.
That helped us get the nod to cordon off some tables in the world famous casino for a day,” explains Anand. “We were also the first Bollywood unit to shoot in the St. Marks Square at The Venetian. And guess what, it was complimentary.”
Since they were put up in the same hotel, the team had to pass the casino on their way to the elevators. “There were times when we would come back to the hotel after a shoot, way past midnight, and on our way up, suddenly find ourselves at a table placing bets,” says Anand.
Quiz him on who hit the jackpot most and he diplomatically chooses to remain quiet. However, he admits that “Priyanka is not a gambler and Ranbir gambled only to kill time.”
Chopra is a foodie though. Anand insists that she could out-eat anyone on the team without putting on an extra ounce. He wasn’t as lucky, after the binge sessions at The Venetian’s 19 restaurants featuring six James Beard Award-winning chefs, including Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse and Thomas Keller. The hotel also boasted of four bars and lounges, including the Tao Night Club and La Scena.
His lead actress also hit the 80 international boutiques of The Grand Canal Shoppes and after a hi-energy shopping spree, found The Canyon Ranch Spa Club the perfect place to relax.
“We had a blast in Vegas,” smiles Anand. “We worked hard and partied harder. We were just 10 minutes away from the colourful nightlife at the Wynn Las Vegas, Bellagio and Caesars Palace on the legendary Vegas Strip. The Hard Rock Café and the Bellagio fountains bring back fond memories.”