B'wood’s oldest stuntman to fight Saif & SRK!
He debuted with 1972’s Pakeezah, and after working for four decades in movies like Shaan, Shakti, Sagar, right up to Jail and Veer, Bollywood’s oldest stuntman is now geared up to fight with Saif Ali Khan in Agent Vinod and Shah Rukh Khan in Ra.One.Updated: Jul 15, 2010 14:03 IST
He debuted with 1972’s
, and after working for four decades in movies like
Shaan, Shakti, Sagar
, right up to
, Bollywood’s oldest stuntman is now geared up to fight with Saif Ali Khan in
and Shah Rukh Khan in
At the age of 65, Mohamed Rafique Qureshi isn’t even thinking of retirement. “Doing stunts keeps me fit,” he smiles. “I don’t look 65, I haven’t had any heart problems, and I have great stamina. There is no reason for me to give up stunts.”
Qureshi lives with his son, model Shabbir Ali, who has done music videos like
Bahon mein chale aa
Bin tere sanam
, and his wife. His daughter, an airhostess, is settled in London. The stuntman says that he doesn’t need to do stunts for the money any more — a pay of Rs 1500 per shift — but performs them because they are his passion.
“The thrill is addictive,” he says. “My children ask me not to take risks anymore, but what is life without risks? Plus, I choose my work now. I have great relationships with all the action directors, so going to the sets for a stunt is like a family reunion for me.”
, Qureshi plays a security guard who tries to ward off the villain in a chase sequence, involving Khan too, but gets injured in the process. Qureshi, who has worked as a body double for Dharmendra and Jeetendra in his early career, and has even starred alongside Hollywood actors Omar Sharif in
The Far Pavillions
and Ben Kingsley in
, says he never trained to be a stuntman.
“Most new stuntmen are already trained, but in my time, my training came from watching Bruce Lee films like
Enter The Dragon
,” he says. “I would also pick up skills by watching other stuntmen, and eventually, I could do anything from horse riding to sword fighting to car chases.”
Today, action directors like Pervez Khan, Allan Amin and Tinu Verma call him on the sets so he can guide new stuntmen. Qureshi, who believes his most dangerous stunts were those where he forced horses to fall while riding them, advises young stuntmen to eat right, exercise, be good to everyone and “don’t take risks if your heart doesn’t agree with it.”
“Stuntmen shouldn’t be greedy,” he warns, citing the fact that stuntmen still aren’t insured and never get a raise no matter how experienced they are. “If the risk is too high, you should refuse the stunt. Only you are responsible for your life.”
First Published: Jul 15, 2010 11:36 IST