Bollywood is going back to school. Although actors keep learning new skills for their roles in various films, it is rare to find them absorbed in training rigorously in a particular field.
Saif Ali Khan, who plays a spy in
, has been training in hand-to-hand combat and martial arts. Director Shriram Raghavan says, “His character needs to be trained for all kinds of crises. He has to fight instinctively, so this was necessary.” Kareena Kapoor has been taking sky diving lessons in Switzerland for the same film.
Deepika Padukone learnt sky diving in Mauritius while shooting for
Break Ke Baad
. “It’s something I always wanted to do. So whenever I found time, I did go for lessons,” she says. Farhan Akhtar has been learning deep sea diving for sister Zoya’s
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Kunal Kapoor has been learning parkour for his action film Doga. Shahid Kapoor is also learning parkour and taking air force training for his role as an air force pilot in Mausam.
Dancing to a different tune
Katrina Kaif is learning belly dancing for Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan. She is being trained by professional belly dancers. “I have been training four times a week for two hours for the song with my trainer Yasmin Karachiwala,” she said. While Kaif is taking belly dancing lessons, Priyanka Chopra is learning tango for Vishal Bhardwaj’s Saat Khoon Maaf.
Ajay Devgn is also busy learning salsa for Madhur Bhandarkar’s Dil to Bachcha Hai Jee. Actor Ranbir Kapoor has been taking guitar lessons for Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar. His role requires him to play in front of a live audience. Actress Neetu Chandra is learning the flute and the tanpura. “I love music and I wanted to learn these instruments,” she says.
Kangna Ranaut has been perfecting her English pronunciation. “My tutor records when I speak and makes me hear it later to spot my mistakes,” she says.