Akshay Kumar says when Blue director Anthony D'Souza approached him for the underwater thriller, the first thing he asked him was "Are you capable of making the movie?". Touted to be India's first underwater film, which is said to match international standards of filmmaking, Blue promises to bring with it some never-seen-before visuals and stunts.
"The first thing I did was to look straight into his eyes and ask him - 'Do you actually think you are capable enough of making a film of this scale, genre and setting? You may say that you want to shoot the film in space or on the moon, but saying something and doing it are two different things. So how will you actually shoot the film?."
As things turned out, D'Souza had done his homework well in advance and showed some of his work from the past, which included certain advertisements he had directed as well as some groundwork on Blue.
"Honestly, it all led me to at least start lending an ear to him. I became further interested in knowing how he was going to execute 'Blue'," Akshay told IANS.
"After all there were going to be extreme stunts in it and that too under water. Then Tony (D'Souza) also showed me the work of the DOP (director of photography) Pete Zuccarini.
"He is the same guy who has also shot Pirates of the Caribbean. He even made me talk to him and once I did that, I was quite satisfied that at least Tony had his heart in the right place and he had done his homework well."
Once on board, Akshay wasn't too worried about the fact that a film like Blue had never been attempted before on the Indian screen.
"I am sure that it would be legendary in its own way. Let's see how the box office treats, but while doing the film we went all out for Blue. Making a film like this is no joke in any case.
"With the backdrop of a treasure hunt to it, it involves real sharks and all. I had to go through some training, take diving lessons and earn a certificate for myself because without that you are not allowed to enter sea."
But that's not all. Akshay had to get back to reading after years -- but this time under water.
"Can you beat that? I had to read books around underwater. Tony made me do so much for this film. It was further hard work because there are minimal special effects. In fact, not a single shot has been taken against a green screen.
"My cameraman, Peter Zuccarini, who is famous for underwater swimming, also helped me a lot. I thought I knew swimming so it would be easy but this man taught me how to 'belong' to underwater. That's the kind of encouragement I was looking for."
Also starring Sanjay Dutt, Lara Dutta and Zayed Khan along with Katrina Kaif and Kylie Minogue, Blue is produced by Dhillin Mehta and has music by A.R. Rahman. It is set to release on October 16.