This has got to be one of the most dangerous stunts ever performed by an actress - Bengali beauty Nandana Sen, who is doing a cross between Lara Croft and Charlie's Angels in Cape Town in her next film, revved up a motorbike and sped from the rooftop of a 30-storey building right on to the adjacent skyscraper!
"And to think I suffer from vertigo," she laughed. "They said I don't have to do it. They were willing to use a body double. But I'm glad I took the leap. It helped me to overcome my vertigo," Nandana, who did the stunt for a film by debutant director Kuki Gulati, told IANS.
"I knew how to ride a bicycle. So learning to ride a mobike was not that hard. But it wasn't an easy thing to speed across from one 30-storey building to another. Our action director Alan Amin was fantastic. I flew across one building to another. It was liberating," she added.
The yet-to-be titled actioner is being produced by Tips Films and Nandana will star opposite Viveik Oberoi.
After doing Rang Rasiya, Nandana feels exhilarated by the whole transformation into an action queen.
"It's a very Matrix like look and role. I enjoyed the stunts immensely. And this role was a complete antithesis to what I play in Ketan Mehta's Rang Rasiya. It was wonderful to take up such a challenge," said Nandana, who is the daughter of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen.
She had to learn martial arts, how to fire a gun and how to ride a bike to play Viveik's action queen.
"I play an all-action girl who is an undercover cop. I learnt kick-boxing and to shoot guns for real. The five kilos I had gained for Rang Rasiya was quickly lost."
How did Nandana, with her arty tag, bag such a hardcore masala film?
"I'm not very good at lobbying for roles. I just got a call from Tips. I think the director Kuki had seen and liked my work."
In spite of the daring stunts, Nandana didn't suffer any major injuries.
"But in 'Rang Rasiya' where I've no stunts I got a broken rib while dancing. And I caught fire also. I'm no stranger to mishaps. I'm quite clumsy in real life; so I'm used to calamities. And my threshold for pain is quite high. Yes, the heavy mobike did fall on me and my shoulder got hurt. But I continued shooting."
After the action stint in Cape Town, Nandana feels less vulnerable as a woman.
"I'm very much a girlie girl. But all this physical action really changed my body language and psychological approach to crowded places. The combat training really helped ... Now I feel less vulnerable in crowds," she said.
Now Nandana returns to Cape Town again to shoot Vicky Chopra's Seasons Greetings.
"I play this really fun character. I haven't done comedy before. It's quite a far cry from my role in the film with Viveik. There I was speeding across skyscrapers. Here hopefully audiences will be falling off their chairs watching my comic act."