Akshay Kumar
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Bollywood Stunts: Course of action!

Akshay Kumar

By HT

Mumbai, Aug. 16 -- The trend of highflying action, started by south films, trickled into Hindi films as well, and soon became equally popular among our audiences. This called for more and more Bollywood films to incorporate never-before-seen antics - which producers are making possible with soaring budgets and upgraded technology. But, what about the actors? Do they find it simpler doing these stunts now that technology facilitates ease? We asked leading men their take on technology-aided stunts, and whether they prefer them.

Safety first

Salman Khan, who was seen doing some high-end manoeuvres in his latest release, Kick, credits the influence of technology, as it is admissibly risk free. He says, "Now, there are lots of safety measures in place. The stunts are larger than life, and more believable. They are now at par with any Hollywood film." Talking about the earlier days, he adds, "We used to do lots of stunts on our own; now we use cables. I have broken glasses and jumped from horses, but they used to be more risky. Now it is safer because of computer graphics."

Akshay Kumar is another actor who gives safety the first priority. He might be a martial arts expert, but he understands the importance of playing it safe. In an earlier interview with us, he had mentioned that he doesn't hesitate to ask his stunt double to take over. He says, s, "Of course I fear for my safety. fety. In the last five years, I've seen a change. India is finally giving safety more importance." Talking about how he manages to do those life-threatening antics, he adds, "The trick is to never let fear control you. Your adrenaline stops you from making mistakes. The day I take either my body or my work for granted, will be the day you hear that I've smashed every inch of myself to pieces."

Staying old-school

Action hero Ajay Devgn, however, tries to maintain the image he has created for himself over the years. He still stays away from cables or harnesses as much he can. "I have given lots of shots for Singham Returns, that were meant to be done with cables but I did them without the use of equipment. Because the technology has changed, action has become much easier, but I still try to do as much as I can by myself. I enjoy doing that," he says.

A few from Bollywood's younger lot, too, think on these lines. Arjun Kapoor, for instance, is in favour of doing his own stunts. "Action has now changed because of technology, but, if you see my performance in earlier films as compared to my next film - which is a home production - I opted for more 'real' action. It's not about people flying around. Rather it gives the feel that when a person is hit, the impact is believable," says Arjun.