Action is the real thing for VIDYUT JAMWAL who is a trained kalaripayattu artiste with big screen ambitions going the right way, says SANGEETA YADAV
He made his Bollywood debut as a baddie, fighting John Abraham in the movie Force and swept away the Filmfare Award for the Most Promising Debut Award in 2012. But soon, the 36-year-old kalaripayattu and martial artist-turned-actor Vidyut Jamwal, proved his mettle as a hero in and as Commando.
He’s got the swagger. He flaunts his six pack abs and doesn’t shy away from showing some flips, kicks and punches while he ramp walks for fashion designers. Body bruises, abrasions and stitches are his favourite tattoos.
This week, this commando will be back with another story — as Captain Karanvir Singh Dogra who is on a mission to fight black money.
“Black money has always been a big issue. It is coincidental that Commando 2 is based on getting the money back into the country. We had finished shooting before demonetisation happened. But the move worked in our favour because now the film will be more relatable,” Jamwal tells you.
Attributing his success to Shah, Jamwal says it’s the film maker’s vision that made him the actor he is. “Vipul’s vision of me becoming an onscreen commando worked for both of us. The first commando created a new benchmark in the action world as we used no stuntmen, wires, cables, nothing. In the second installment, we have the greater responsibility of surpassing the benchmark created by the original,” Jamwal says.
Doing stunts himself, Jamwal has inspired many others and garnered a lot of fan following. “One of the biggest action heroes in the world, Scott Adkins, sent me a message through the social media, saying that my action seems very promising. It was great. When I met real commandos in Jodhpur recently, I felt good about having impressed them with my commando skills. I built a bond with them and they shared their personal stories with me. After the first Commando, I called up my mother and asked her what she thought of my work. ‘I don’t want anything else. You’ve done what no kid could do. You made me very proud’, she said. I felt so happy & all this has been a bonus to me,” Jamwal says.
When his peers were living it up, Jamwal spent time learning kalaripayattu and other martial art forms. Even after becoming an actor, nothing has changed. “I was a very quiet child but I was not doing what regular kids were supposed to do. I used to work hard then and I continue to do so. Life has not changed after becoming an actor. I am still the same person but people around me start looking at me in a different way,” he tells you.
Breaking into the film industry was difficult. “For a person with no film background, it is next to impossible to enter the industry, especially men. But if you have talent and the fire in you, nobody can stop you. My passion has kept me going. I am an actor and I know that rejections and failure are a part of life. Whenever I try to do a new stunt, I fail the first few times but I never give up. One should get used to rejections in life and that will make you stronger,” Jamwal shares.
Jamwal says, it is his martial art skill that has got him into acting and that’s what differentiates him from other actors. “I’m a real martial artist. I came into the industry because I do action, not because I was a popular star kid. Actors do action scenes just to be in the movies. I am a true action hero who has been hired as an actor. If I am fighting 10 men to save a woman on screen, I can do the same thing on the streets as well which no actor can do. That makes me different from other actors,” he tells you.
Asked why he is not seen in B-wood parties, he says: “I don’t enjoy them so I don’t go to the parties. I also don’t go to premieres because you have to lie and say you loved the movie. I also don’t call anyone for the screening of my movie. I prefer them buy a ticket and watch it. I listen to what people say about my movie.”
There are many actors who get professional training to learn martial arts but Jamwal feels that if it is required in your work, one should continue it and develop their personality around it instead of doing it only for one movie. “Training for martial arts is good but one should not discontinue it after the film gets over. Even those who say they are transforming themselves for the role, risk their life by not eating carbs which is food for the brain. If you stop it, your brain will not be as active as it should be. I believe we should have a balanced diet. What suits me might not suit you. The more important thing is to figure out what’s best for you,” he says.
Has any actor asked him for action tips? “People are so insecure that they never ask. They it is belittling. There are very few learners in the industry.”
After Commando 2, Jamwal has plenty of projects in his kitty. “My next film is Yaara with Tigmanshu Dhuliya which will release this year. I am starting another film with Vipul Shah and another one titled Junglee with Rohan Sippy and Junglee Pictures. So, 2017 hold lots of excitement and some good work in store for me,” he says.
(The article also got published in Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/body-bruises-are-my-tattoos.html).