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Vidyut unlearns to play a common man

Updated: Jan 24, 2020 19:40 IST
Deep Saxena
Deep Saxena
Vidyut Jammwal  in Lucknow
Vidyut Jammwal in Lucknow(HT)

Actor Vidyut Jammwal has done larger-than-life action sequences in his films ‘Force’, ‘Commando’ series and ‘Junglee’. For the kalaripayattu and martial arts expert, action sequences come naturally but what challenged him most was unlearning his art and performing like a common man who has no fighting skills.

In Lucknow to shoot for Faruk Kabir’s next ‘Khuda Haazif’, the actor said, “First of all it’s not an action film I am known for. It’s about this common man who is not a martial artist not a trained fighter but since this wife (played Shivaleeka Oberoi) has been abducted, he fights his way out and gets his wife back. I enjoyed doing it, as more than outer fight it’s about the inner fight — courage and strength. The toughest thing for me was to unlearn the training I have done for many years. I studied a lot about the human body. ”

Known for rough and tough apparel, it was very different for him sporting a shirt and trouser. And, that was the reason he did this film. “I chose this movie out of many scripts after wanting to do something different. It’s a true story of a Hyderabad-based couple in 2008 during the recession. Both lost their jobs but the wife gets a job in Oman and the husband was supposed to go after a week when the woman disappears. This man going and getting his wife is what turned me on.”

The action seen in the film will be in a different zone. “It’s an action film but not where the hero is a trained fighter. He can’t do action like I have done in previous films but when you have a ‘junoon’ (madness) from inside then even a simple man can fight with the mightiest,” Jammwal said.

He made a special effort to unlearn. “In learning repetition of the same thing again and again helps one learn it. Similarly, for unlearning if you do the opposite of what you have learnt you will achieve that too. Your brain will automatically do anything – be it language, acting or life. I researched a lot about it and discovered lygometry which is to know all the things you don’t know about. I have realised there is lot to learn. So, after learning the ‘tameez’ and ‘tehzeeb’ of something, martial arts in my case, and then unlearning it, balances the ‘yin and yang’. The philosophy of life, which I learnt living in an ashram with my mother (a kalaripayattu artist) since the age of three, also helped me.”

It was fun and a learning experience for him. “Unlearning was tough but fun too. I have trained all my life and now to unlearn was great fun. It has taught me a lot, it has given me experience and shown me a side of me which I had no idea. I have never cried in my life that I have done here.”

What about this fans who want him see him as action super hero? “The best part for me, fans and audience will be that this time there won’t be a hero who is one-man army fighting 10-20 people at one go. But, here is a person who has a ‘junoon’ (passion) and does not fear anything. For that you don’t need to know martial arts, it comes from the ‘dileri’ (daring) from inside. That is what the audience will watch and this is a genre of action which has remained untouched. Fans will love it and will get the message that to fight you just don’t need to know the art, if you apply passion and mind into it you can do it.

“I meet a lot of people, open gyms, motivate people and believe me it’s not about how much weight you can lift, it’s about the power of mind as well. It’s not just about what you have outside but what you have inside,” says Jammwal who recently received action awards from Jackie Chan in China — Best Action Choreography and Best Family Film.

He met members of ‘Jammwalion’ fan page from Lucknow during the shoot. “Just making a body, learning acting, dance and action is not enough. You have to develop yourself as a human being,” he said to them.

This is his second film in the state after ‘Bullett Raja’ and his portion of shooting was largely shot in Etawah.