Vidyut Jammwal: I am an actor who does stunts without any cables and that gives me a high
He started his Bollywood journey with the action film Force (2011). From thereon, Vidyut Jammwal, who is known for his expertise in martial arts, has mastered the action genre. In the upcoming film, Commando 3, he promises to raise the bar even higher. In a conversation with BT, the actor spoke about his fixation for the genre, what inspires him to take up such roles, attempting death-defying stunts and more. Excerpts:
From Commando in 2013 to Commando 3 in 2019, you have carried the franchise on your shoulders. Did you draw inspiration for your character Captain Karanvir Singh Dogra from anyone in particular? I come from an army background. Some of my classmates, who had joined the army, sacrificed their lives for the country; they have inspired me. We would also get to know when someone lost their life, without the nation knowing about it. For example, if something happens in Kashmir, it becomes national news. However, there are places like Nagaland, Manipur and Assam, where army personnel die, but you don't always get to know about it. Apart from this, many other regular people inspire me. Sometimes you watch somebody doing something and get inspired. Recently, I was watching an acrobatic street show, in which I saw a man doing something phenomenal with his body. I was awestruck, and he inspired me to try what he was doing.
Considering you hail from an army background, weren't you ever inspired to join the Indian Army? I have many of my relatives serving the Indian Army. I lost my mama (uncle) in the 1971 war and a cousin in the Kargil War. Today, the biggest honour for me is to play a commando on screen. With this, I can inspire a lot of people to join the Indian Army. I get heartfelt messages on email and social media saying, 'I watched Commando, and I want to be a part of the Indian Army.' I also visit army camps; for me, it was a great moment when I got to visit the camps located at the Seven Sisters. Most people there knew about my background and wanted me to visit the school where the army kids study. It was an honour for me to go there and address the jawans, their wives and their kids. When I was young, I wanted to join the army, but I was passionate about martial arts and pursued this path. Commando, as a franchise, has been high on action. Do you feel the pressure to take the action sequences a notch higher than the previous film?
The pressure of executing these stunts is high, especially because there is a fan base that expects a lot from me and the franchise. I realise that I can't disappoint the audience. Every time I travel, I have people coming and asking me, 'Aap iss baar aap kya naye action scenes karne wale ho?' People spoke highly about a stunt that I did in the previous instalment of the film, where I jumped through a window. This time around, I wanted to surprise them and do something that's more challenging. I wondered if I would be able to hop into a car through its window and get it right. We have incorporated it in the film. I am an actor who does stunts without any cables and that gives me a high. You have been doing all the stunts yourself. Doesn't it bother you that you could sustain serious injuries despite the precautions?
If you are getting into the swimming pool, you will get wet, right? Having said that, I haven't really had any major injuries. I lost my father when I was 19 years old; I have a feeling that he watches over me and protects me every time I execute a stunt. I do these stunts myself and at the end of the day, when I return home uninjured, it's like a big celebration for me.