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Last Updated 20.10.2019 | 6:41 PM IST
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In the world of Imran Khan – Part 2

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Imran Khan folds his leg and sits on his sofa and starts off by saying, “This Condemned thing is going to kill us all. Luck is not 13 Tzameti nor is it The Condemned. It is Race, Dhoom and Dhoom 2.” The last time I was in a room with Imran Khan, he was giving interview for Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na in London, sitting on the carpet stretching his legs, sitting cross legged and changing his sitting positions. We could’ve understood the reason because the film in question was Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na, a romantic film about friendship. One year on, his latest film Luck will see him play a tough guy with a lean look and a tough body language. The actor looks chiselled when I meet him but is still sitting with his legs stretched and sometimes cross legged on his sofa. He hates changes but yet it seems there are two contradicting Imrans: entrusting and circumspect Imran, and gregarious, up-for-anything Imran. He’s been careful to display both, so I’ll never pin him down as one or the other. He’s answered everything. He’s played a perfect game. He keeps you smiling and he’s laughing, even. He doesn’t let you get too close, but he doesn’t let you notice the distance. “Man can be destroyed but not defeated” is what reads on his t-shirt when I meet him for the second part of this special interview featuring his film Luck. For starters, the actor does not believe in it, yet he is considered the Indian Film Industry’s luckiest new entrant with one flop and one hit. UK’s Harrow Observer columnist and Bollywood Hungama’s London correspondent meets the rarest of breeds in the Indian Film Industry. Lucky me!

Luck

“It’s a tricky thing because I don’t really believe in luck. I am a very pragmatic and a very practical person. My head tells me that there is no such thing and there can’t be such a thing. At the same time, I also feel that if there is something called luck, then I’m a very lucky person. Good things happen to me and bad things don’t happen. In a bad traffic jam, somehow I will be able to make it to the theatre to watch the film before it starts. But whatever it is, I’ve been blessed with good things all my life.”

Casting of Luck

“Casting of Luck is bang on. I’ve seen the film and that’s the reason I’m telling you. Shruti is perfect for her role. The second my director Soham said that I want Mithun in the film, I said, “Correct” because it fits him perfect. We were thinking of a younger actor like me to play the role which Ravi Kissen plays in Luck, but eventually it worked for Ravi. As a poster, the cast might look strange and a little weird, I know that, but when you watch the film you’ll get lucky.”

Inspiration from 13 Tzameti and The Condemned

“This Condemned rumour is going to kill us all I guess. Yes, I agree that the gun sequence in Luck is inspired by 13 Tzameti and Soham has admitted that. We all know that. The talks about Luck is inspired by The Condemned is crap. Soham had written the script long before The Condemned was ever made. He wanted to make Luck in 2006. At a very simple level, if I wanted to rip off a Hollywood film, I’ll rip off a successful one and not The Condemned. A tabloid carried some screen shots from both the films and compared them. But I can also find screen shots from How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days that would match Luck as well. Visually, many films can look the same but they’re not.”

Lucky bet

“The film is based on the reality betting but at the very core level, it is about luck. Betting is about luck, agreed. But it also depends on the people who are playing, the contestants. The games we are playing in the film has nothing to do with the skill. It also depends on the contestants luck. Which to me was a very cool concept. You see, good things can happen to bad people and bad things can happen to good people. That’s the fact of life and luck.”

Luck in the overseas

“Bollywood films have got a big territory in the UK, US and UAE. Australia is a smaller territory compared to the ones mentioned. Each one of these has different tastes for the same Bollywood film released there. I think Luck has a good chance in the UK. The UK audience tends to like these kinds of pot-boilers. They like the classic Bollywood films. I know they’ve liked Dhoom and Dhoom 2 and so I can say that they’ll like Luck.”

Action

“Action films take a lot out of you physically because you are not doing a lot of character work. Say 30% of your scenes in the film are the actual talky scenes. Action takes a lot of time to shoot. A three minute sequence will take two weeks to shoot. You spend the entire day running, jumping, falling, getting beaten up, beating someone, having explosions go off, you dive and roll for cover. You do that all day, then go home and wake up the next day and repeat the same strenuous stuff till it gets over. At the end of it, everything hurts. We shot the climax of Luck in twelve days involving a plane, jumping off the plane onto the train, explosions, and running through the train on fire.”

Lucky girlfriend and friends

“I like to keep my work and personal life separate. Once I’m done with work, I want to pull out of the movie business. When you are in the film industry, you tend to hang out with the industry people and you become a part of that film world. The rest of the world does not exist for you and you forget what real life is. I’m very weary of that and don’t want to be in that position. So when I hang out with my friends, I talk about them. One of my friends is doing a t-shirt business. One of them is launching a company called ‘Pani Puri’. It’s a cool concept. One of my friend is a commodity trader, one of the most boring s**t in the world man. He talks about his pepper trade business. All this reminds you that there is much more than just films.”

Danny Denzongpa

“He is a cool dude man, is sixty five and can kick your a** and my a** right now, which means that if two of us attack him from the back, he would still bring both of us down. He has rippling muscles. I had a scene with him in Luck where I am suppose to grab his collar, slap him and slam him against the wall. Now while doing this, his chest muscles were so hard that I hurt my knuckles. It’s ‘kadak’. He knows that he is a dude. He comes to the gym in a sleeveless t-shirt, does his massive weight training and you can see his biceps popping up and down. There is something about him which is so damn difficult to term. You will always see him walking tall, suited, pushed back hair, no slouching and his firm hand shake. I’d describe him as a cliff.”

Mithun Chakraborty

“If Danny is full of attitude, Mithun is completely the opposite. He is a little relaxed, chilled out, has a good couple of drinks, etc. Mithun turns on when the camera is on. I’ve seen him exhausted and sea sick and falling during the filming of the shark sequence. He is not as fit as Danny. He is tired, his muscles are hurting him and suddenly the camera turns and he is someone else. Even if Mithun is bleeding, he’ll do the scene. Moment you say ‘cut’, he will fall down.”

Shruti Haasan

“There is still an inherent fear and lack of confidence when you are a first timer in Bollywood. I know I had it during Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na. But I should say this, Shruti proved me wrong. She has surprised me in the film. I had faith in her but she proved better than what I thought of her. Her language has come out quite clean after the dubbing.”

Chitrashi

“Now what I’m going to say is real. You must’ve seen Chitrashi talk in Chak De India. Well, that is exactly how she talks off screen too. Chitrashi brings in a lot of emotional angle and a comic relief to Luck. Now the part she plays in Luck was originally written for a male and somewhere something happened. Soham told me that he wanted to cast the Chak De girl Chitrashi. I told him, “What’re you doing man. You want to cast a female in a role which is written for a male actor?” He then brought her in, auditioned her and the result is that it works much better than the guy playing it. She is so real.”

Satisfaction and celebration

“I am satisfied and celebrate my satisfaction too sometimes. Not always. I don’t come home after doing a great scene and say that I am going to celebrate tonight. I do it only when I’ve done something successful. Like I celebrated with my friends and family after the success of Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na. I celebrated after Ranbir and I got a good response being hosts during the Filmfare awards, etc.”

Transformation

“Talk of transformation; I’ve been doing exactly that in all my films. Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na was sweet. Kidnap was rough, Luck is tough and you won’t believe if you see my look in Delhi Belly. I’ve lost all my weight in Delhi Belly like Tom Hanks and Christian Bale in Cast Away and The Machinist. It’s a complete transformation. But the sad part is that you tend to become like a loser when you play such roles. You feel bad about yourself. You’ll feel unpleasant when you look at my picture from Delhi Belly because all my hero-giri has gone for a toss.”

More Pages: Luck Box Office Collection , Luck Movie Review

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