Akshay is good at action and great at romance: AR Murugadoss

  • Holiday

    Holiday: A Soldier is Never Off Duty is an upcoming Bollywood action thriller written and directed by AR Murugadoss and produced by Vipul Shah. (Photo: ...

  • Akshay Kumar

    The film features Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha in the lead roles, along with Govinda in a supporting role. (Photo: Facebook)

  • Holiday

    Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty is a remake of the 2012 Tamil film Thuppakki starring Vijay and Kajal Agarwal in lead roles which ...

  • Akshay Kumar

    The film will release on 6 June 2014. (Photo: Facebook)

  • Akshay Kumar

    This is AR Murugadoss’ second Bollywood film after Ghajini. (Photo: Facebook)

  • Greg Powell

    The action sequences have been directed by Greg Powell, who has been the stunt director of Skyfall (2012), the Harry Potter series and many others. ...

  • Sonakshi Sinha

    Sonakshi Sinha
    She has teamed up with south director AR Murugadoss for a woman-centric action drama. We’ve heard that most of Sonakshi’s action scenes will ...

  • Akshay Kumar

    Talking about Akshay’s enthusiasm, producer Vipul Shah says, "He dedicatedly rehearsed for the sequences, although we all felt he was a master at it. Some ...

  • Akshay Kumar

    The film also brings Akshay back with Sonakshi Sinha, with whom he has hits like Rowdy Rathore (2012). (Photo: Desimartini)

Their might be an unusual combination, but producer Vipul Shah and director AR Murugadoss’s collaboration on the action-drama, Holiday – A Soldier Is Never Off Duty is an anticipated one. Murugadoss, who has directed a Bollywood film after six years, says he has tweaked his south original, Thuppakki (2012), to make Holiday a sharper remake. Here, they both tell us about their experience of working together, and why Akshay Kumar was always their first choice for the lead role.

Read: Enough of so-called south-style action, Akshay Kumar goes realistic for Holiday

You're returning to directing a Bollywood film after six years (he last directed Ghajini; 2008). Does that add to the pressure?
Murugadoss: I knew there would be expectations. I didn’t feel the pressure while making the film, but I’m feeling some of it now (laughs). I didn’t think about the time gap because I was working on the script of Holiday, and then I also shot Thuppakki with the same script, so I was busy. I won’t take so much time for my next film.

Producer Vipul Shah and director AR Murugadoss.

Vipul, is casting Akshay in your films a given?
Vipul: No. I enjoy working with him, but as a producer, I go by the director’s vision and give him what he wants. ARM wanted him, so it was a sone pe suhaaga (an added bonus) situation for me.

How was it working with Akshay?
AR Murugadoss (ARM): It was wonderful. He’s good at action and great at romance. He’s such a big superstar. I was a bit nervous initially, but he put me at ease and we soon became good friends.

How was ARM as a director?
Vipul Shah (VS): He’s extremely organised, so he gave me a list of requirements for the shoot before the first day. Despite being a hot-shot director, he never gave me any trouble. The film was a difficult one to shoot, because the streets of Mumbai were our locations, and there were many things to manage. Plus, when I saw Thuppakki, I felt the rhythm and soul of the film, and I knew no one could have done a better job.

Have you made any changes in the Hindi version of the film?
ARM: You can’t compare the two films, but we did change some portions in the Hindi version, including a bit of the climax.

VS: The Tamil film was based in Mumbai as well. In fact, the original script was for a Hindi film, but since the Tamil version was made first, this is technically a remake. But instead of getting complacent, Murugadoss made small changes to make the film relevant to our audience.

Tell us about the film’s story?
VS: Holiday is a story about the operation of sleeper cells. Akshay is an army officer who returns home on a holiday, but as they say, a man in uniform is never off duty.

 

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