Rooshma Rai packs material not for those wit a weak heart. At 26, she can make some of the best stuntmen in Bollywood turn green. Packing equal quantities of both beauty and fearlessness, Rai is the first lead actress-cum-stuntwoman of the Nepali film industry. Recently she jumped off a helicopter from a height of 120 feet — without a safety rope or even a safety net.
Rai performed the feat while shooting for the film Mission-Love in Sikkim, the director mentioned a scene to Rai where the lead actress keeps air surveillance from a chopper and jumps on a group of criminals, she had been tracking from the air.
“When i heard about the scene, I immediately said I didn’t need a stunt woman. I would do it myself. He asked me if I was sure and even said he would do away with it if I wasn’t comfortable enough,” says Rai. That time, the jump was from a 50-feet height from the helicopter.
The scene was shot in Chaubar, Nepal. “The helicopter was kept at 50 feet but due to the short distance and the resulting dust kicked up by the chopper, I insisted that it be taken up to a greater height.
Finally when everything looked fine, the elevation was 120 feet. Without giving it a second thought, I jumped out wielding a handgun and miraculously survived the fall with only a sprained ankle and a small cut on my mouth,” says Rai.
Rai jumped on a heap of cardboard boxes. “I was holding a gun and somehow the idea of a safety rope did not go well with the scene and so I jumped out minus the rope,” she says.
Born in the Goambustee village near Namchi in Sikkim, Rai along with her parents and elder brother moved to Gangtok later. Fearlessness has always been her forte. “I tell myself death is inevitable. Except God, I don’t fear anything,” she adds. The film will be premiered in Sikkim next month.