He has worked with a rank newcomer Adah Sharma in his debut film 1920 and also an established actress like Karisma Kapoor in Dangerous Ishq. Now he is being seen as a leading man opposite Sunny Leone in Ek Paheli Leela. Rajniesh ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ Duggall gets talking about his special equation with Sunny as well as other co-stars in the Bobby Khan directed musical thriller.
When a film has Leela in the title and Sunny as the leading lady, it is expected that she will hog the limelight. Since you are the male lead in the film, how is that balance maintained?
With Sunny, there is no such thing that ‘Ok, so here I am, THE Sunny Leone, so treat me well’. As a matter of fact, I don’t think that aaj ki date mein aisa kisi ka bhi attitude hota hai. At least I would like to believe so as I have not met actors who are like that. This way I have been fortunate. As for her, she is a fabulous person to work with. She is quite professional and just like me, even she wants every scene to come out really well. There are no compromises and there is very good focus in there. Also, as a director, Bobby (Khan) has placed things well. If ‘Desi Look’ is entirely hers, ‘Dholi Taro’ has both of us in there.
Of course, there are other men in the team as well, including Jay Bhanushali, Rahul Dev and Mohit Ahlawat. How did the whole male bonding work in the film?
It was great, especially with Rahul with whom I have many scenes. We appear in that portion of the film where we are in a village 300 years back. These sequences leave a great mark in the film. There is a personal connect with Rahul as well since both of us are from Delhi. When I started modeling, then Rahul was at the top of the game. During the making of Ek Paheli Leela, I was taking tips from him on work outs etc. We would see Rahul all pumped up in the film. Unko dekh ke lagta tha that bass aise hi body banaani hai. It was a great bonding with him.
Since you had to shoot for an era from three centuries ago, it must have been a different world altogether.
The beauty of this era is that it is all peaceful and calm. Of course, from the shooting perspective there were quite some challenges since there were constant sandstorms. Still, Bobby marshaled his resources quite well. He was very clear in his mind about what he wanted for his scenes. On the other hand Ahmed (Khan) bhai trained me quite well on dancing. His nuances are very helpful and the way he goes about has a calming effect on you. That helps an actor open up and be free because he gives you a lot of space to perform. It is due to their effort that the film has turned out to be an edge of the seat musical thriller.