Salman Khan is not supposed to be a particularly hands-on technician on the sets of his movies. Most of the time you’d find him giving his shot and moving to a corner with his cronies. But in Veer, Salman not only got down from his high horse, he even assisted the art director Sanjay Dabade (who had earlier done the art direction of Anil Sharma’s Gadar: Ek Prem Kahani) and the construction workers in setting up the props, temporary buildings and architecture in London to denote the 19th century period.
This happened on more than one occasion when the natural light in London threatened to fade away. While shooting in front of the Indian embassy in London and after having acquired the permission to shoot in front of the Buckingham Palace, the art directors’ team found itself running against time.
That’s when Salman jumped in.
Says producer Vijay Galani, “Though Salman wouldn’t want it to be known in case other unit’s expect the same from him, he actively assisted Sanjay Dabade in his men in the construction work in London. See, first of all getting the permission to shoot on locations near Buckingham Palace was hard enough. Then we had to cover all the visible outward signs of modernity and replace them with props representing 1880. All this required a lot of planning and execution. We had to be very careful not to put up any architecture or props that would damage London’s topography.”
This is where Salman came in. Says Galani, “Salman just jumped in with the workers, maybe it was a dormant passion, but no one had ever seen this side of him. He actually assisted in the construction work on the streets of London.”
Passers-by who recognized him just couldn’t stop staring. “To see Salman banging wood planks with nails and hammers is not an every day sight. But then Veer is not an everyday film for Salman. He has written the story and he loves the subject and character. He grew his hair for one- half of the film. I won’t name them. But some actors refused roles because they had to sport beards in Veer,” says Galani.