What prompted you to sign up Prince- It’s Show Time, directed by rookie, Kookie Golatie.
Kookie is a fabulous technician, he’s designed most of the stunts with Allan Amin. I was shooting nearby and he said he wanted to show me something. It was a graphic animated storyboard complete with the background score that he’d been working on for 14 months.
I pointed out to Kumarji (producer Kumar taurani) that it would be an expensive and I hadn’t done a solo-hero project in a long time. He believed in me. For him, I was a star. And if I believed him, then I should leave the rest to them.
You were nervous?
I was terrified, I still am. Kumarji and Kookie have invested a lot of time, money and effort on me. I have to deliver.
Did you know that Harman Baweja was approached for the film first? Does it matter?
The film took its time to wrap up and the release date shifted a couple of times too. A film like this takes time. I trained for six months to get fit, then trained in parkour and skating. I practiced on the skateboard in Juhu’s bylanes early morning. Then, since Prince is ambidextrous, every morning I’d practise writing with both hands on the board I had put up in my bedroom. Kookie worked equally hard and that only made me push myself harder. My producer too is a stickler for quality. He wanted special effects at par with international standards.
Tell us about the dare-devil action you have done in the film?
First day, I was on the 48th storey of a building, standing on a plank. I had to say a few lines and then jump. When I heard what I was supposed to do, I told them that if this was how we were starting off, I couldn’t imagine how far we’d go. But I have great confidence in Allan, I’ve been working with him since Company.
I’ve jumped from a 32nd floor of one building to the 28the floor of another building and flown 60 feet across a Durban road on a bike. I have hung upside down from an army jeep in the rapids of Manali without any safety cables. If I could survive all that and live to tell my story, I knew I could get away with this stunt too.
You suffered an injury during Yuva that put the brakes on your career. So didn’t the family object to such risky moves?
That accident stayed at the back of my mind for the longest time. I had another bad accident during Kisna that aggravated my injury. I opened up about my fears to Allan. He helped me regain confidence. And since then there have been no doubts or worries.
As far as my family is concerned, most of the time they don’t know what I’m doing. When they read of or see the stunts, I tell them that it’s all computer graphics. That’s the only time I lie to my parents.
Their blessings are like an armour that protect me all the time. Life has been a roller-coaster ride. I was 24 when I started. In seven years, I went up there and didn’t know how to handle stardom. Then, I came down tumbling so fast. Now I’ve become more spiritual and leave it all to Him.