After action thriller Shootout At Lokhandwala, director Apoorva Lakhia is back with another macho film, Mission Istanbul, where he says the heroes will be doing the "skin show".
"When you are making an action film, they say in India women don't go and watch it, so you have to make your men look sexy. It's a macho film and the music is pumping. There is a lot of skin show, but from guys not girls. Of course, we have filled it up with beautiful girls," Lakhia told IANS here.
The director showcased Mission Istanbul at the ongoing ninth International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards here.
The film, which deals with global terrorism, was entirely shot in Istanbul.
"Istanbul was part of the script and backdrop. Locations in Istanbul are very good. I thought it will be very interesting to shoot a film where no other film has been shot for a very long time.
"And it's a great thing to go and shoot in different countries. Not only do you exchange cultures, you also spread awareness about Indian cinema. And it's also good for viewers, they see a different country. And if the film does well, they might go to that country. But basically I like to shoot in different countries because it just brings in a different atmosphere to the film," the director said.
Lakhia presents Zayed Khan in a completely different avatar in Mission Istanbul.
"I chose Zayed because he had never done a role like this. He is always seen like a chocolate boy. This one needed him as a mature grown-up in the film."
Apart from Zayed, the film also has Vivek Oberoi, Shabbir Ahluwalia and Suniel Shetty, who is also the producer of the film. Shweta Bharadwaj and Shriya Saran play the female leads in the action flick.
Unlike his last film, Mission Istanbul doesn't have big names.
"I don't think it's a question of big names. It is the question of how much confidence producers have in you. For 'Shootout...' I had a script which required big names. It was an adult film so the viewership would be less, so we had to get the faces.
"In Ek Ajnabee, I had Amitabh Bachchan and at that time no one was making Amitji do action. No one was experimenting, but I did it. In this one we have Vivek and Zayed, they might not be the biggest names in the country, but at the same time they are not newcomers. They have their own fan following. It's just the confidence the producers had in me and gave me the money to make films with these two guys."
Shootout... was based on a real story and Mission Istanbul is fictional. So what is more challenging?
"It is easier to work on a fictional story because you don't have to do as much research. You can take things for granted and take liberties. For real stories you have to do a lot of research because you don't want people to say this didn't happen or that was wrong.
"If you look at Shootout... I didn't get any criticism. I was happy about Shootout... because it was not only financially successful, but critically acclaimed as well."
And what are girls doing in a macho film?
"I needed a girl who could do action so I took Shweta Bharadwaj for that and I needed a pretty Indian girl because I was shooting the film abroad so I wanted to keep the Indianness. So I had Shriya Saran for that."