On a serene evening, I walked into the lavish office of Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, located on the 17th floor of a posh suburban building. Baaghi posters were everywhere, I felt I had been teleported to a different world altogether. In the midst of this, I saw the actor assisted by his bodyguard, going in and out of rooms, and I figured he was busy shuffling between interviews without making journalists wait. I waited my turn and was soon escorted into a small conference room. I sat opposite the actor, who greeted me with a warm smile. Beginning my interrogation, (this is the second time I was interacting with the actor), I must say that things had changed a bit. The actor who was carefree back then, today, came across as someone well polished and ready to set the pace. What hadn’t changed was his intrinsic honesty, and that is all that matters in the end. Just two films old in the industry, the fan following he has is enormous. After all, he has been a face of his idol Hrithik Roshan’s brand, and with the recent video that went viral (where the actor mimicked Hrithik’s dance moves), the audiences believe that he is a direct dance descendent of the Roshan. Tiger Shroff has come a long way with his dance moves, stunts and more importantly, his goal to enter Bollywood and carve a niche for himself.
You worked with the same team in a similar setup, and even the action sequences looked identical. So what made Baaghi different from Heropanti? Also, did you feel any pressure?
No pressure whatsoever. Kismat achchi hai meri that I got a chance to work with the same team again. Because the comfort level I share with the team on set was reflected in the work. This time, the film was a much bigger package overall, and to make that happen, a lot of preparation had to be done.
How different was the plot of the film, you were a rebel in Heropanti as well?
The intention of that character was different to the intention I had in Baaghi. In Baaghi, my character had two shades, whereas in Heropanti, the graph of my character was pretty much the same through the film. The action we expressed in Baaghi was a lot more authentic towards martial arts. It was on a higher level, and the entire thought process in doing the same was to showcase something that wasn’t seen in Indian cinema.
So was the process of training and martial arts exhausting?
Very much. The entire shooting was physically exhausting; the entire process of adapting to the shooting style of the people in Thailand. There, people are used to long shoots, whereas in India, the process we follow is that after every punch, the scene is cut. There, we shot entire sequences in one stretch.
So did that mean a lot of retakes?
Yes. Even though we had prepared a lot before the film, what used to happen at times was that if it wasn’t my mistake, then the cameraman would be at fault. The cameraman there had to keep pace with me, and at times, the sync we shared didn’t match. So we had to reshoot the entire sequence again.
What Baaghi also gave Bollywood was another young villain. What was the rapport you shared with Sudheer Babu on the sets, and how was it combating a young and powerful villain in the film?
It was fantastic working with him. He was such a powerful villain; in fact, his character was a lot stronger than mine.
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