If you loved Deepika Padukone’s stunts in her Hollywood debut, here’s some news you’ll appreciate. While the actor is set for a repeat performance Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film, a bunch of other female stars will turn action heroes this year, complete with formal training and big no-no to body doubles. Actor Taapsee Pannu, who plays a RAW agent in the prequel to Baby (2015) took martial arts lessons for the film. Now, Hollywood stunt director Cyril Raffaelli is training her for the climax. “It was like adventure. I like that directors don’t differentiate between an actor and actress when it comes to doing action scenes,” says Taapsee.
Action director Allen Amin feels it is great that female stars are volunteering to do their own stunts. “A lot of our actresses are doing stunts on their own. I made Aishwarya (Rai Bachchan) do her own stunts in Dhoom 2 and Katrina (Kaif) has done stunts in her next film with Ranbir Kapoor. It is about convincing them about the importance of the scene and that it is going to be safe,” he says.
In her film with Shahid Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan, Kangana Ranaut plays a stuntwoman and underwent training for three months for the role. Jacqueline Fernandez also has a fair bit of action in her film with Sidharth Malhotra. “The film with Sidharth will have me doing a little action, which is a first for me. But then again, I enjoyed doing all of it,” she said.
Industry experts say that this is not just for entertainment, these actors are also sending a message to the audience. “We are going through a beautiful time in the film industry where female actors are at par with the male stars, or even better,” says filmmaker Sabbir Khan, who directed actor Shraddha Kapoor in the action film Baaghi (2016). However, trade analyst Atul Mohan says, “Action films are considered to be a safe bet at the box office globally. It is yet to be accepted that openly in India. We still need to find if it is a financially safe deal or not,”