Hailed as India's answer to Bruce Lee, Vidyut Jammwal has carved his niche in action films. After the success of Commando (2013), the actor is back with the second installment of the film. In an exclusive chat with IndiaToday.in, Vidyut talks about demonetisation, Gurmehar Kaur and being called an action hero.
Was there a lot of pressure while doing Commando 2, given the success of the original?
There was no pressure at all. There was great responsibility, for sure, because after the success of Commando, when I met people at the airport and other places, they were like, "You have done everything. What's next?" So there was a great sense of responsibility, and I trained very hard for it. And after watching the results, I have to tell you with great pride that we got a home run.
What was it like working with Adah Sharma and Esha Gupta?
Esha has been a friend of mine, because we have done a lot of fashion shows together. Adah, I worked with for the first time. Luckily for me, I'm on good terms with both of them and we had a lot of fun shooting together.
Commando 2 revolves around black money. What is your take on demonetisation?
I'm one of the guys who didn't have any black money. I have a feeling it's a good decision. In order to get results, you have to make different things change, so I support demonetisation so far. The film, Commando 2, doesn't revolve around demonetisation at all. The idea is black money. We all know that the country needs to change; the black money needs to come back to our country and that is the mission that our commando is on.
So, do you think demonetisation has been successful in bringing the black money back?
I am hoping, it's too early to say. It has brought about some changes for sure, so I'm hoping it achieves what it set out to do. As an Indian, I hope everything works out for the best.
Nepotism in Bollywood is the hot topic these days. Does it really exist? What's your take, as an outsider?
Nepotism exists everywhere, whether you are in politics or you run a textile industry or any business. Nepotism is big everywhere. Yes, it does exist in Bollywood, but if you have an unique talent, if you can offer something that no one else can, you have nothing to worry about. It's not as easy as people think, it's very difficult. But if you have the light within you, you can shine anywhere. People can ignore you, they can shut their eyes, but if the light inside you is very bright, they will have to acknowledge you.
Do you consider someone like Tiger Shroff, who is also very fit and known for his stunts, your competition?
I have only one competition - chasing the sun. I wake up at 4 every morning. I have never, in the last thirty years, risen after it has come out. And if you're competing with the sun, which is divine, you do compete with anyone else.
You have made a mark for yourself in action films. Do you worry about being typecast as an action hero?
If Michael Jackson is the King of Pop, I think that is one of the best compliments for him. He would never be worried about being called the King of Pop. If people call me the King of Action, I'm very proud of it. Excellence should always be cherished, and I'm very proud to be called the action star of India.
Do you ever feel that people may not accept you in a completely different genre of cinema?
I am here to cross the boundaries and break the walls. I will break anything that restricts me. I do not believe in limitations.
As an army kid yourself, what do you feel about the backlash that Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur is facing for her placard saying, "Pakistan did not kill my father, war did"?
I don't know too much about it, because I have been commuting. But I want you to know one thing. What is incorrect is the way people have threatened her with rape and other things. If a girl in my country is not safe, I will defend her. Wherever she is, whatever I have to do, I will do. I don't know what she said or what people are saying or doing, I don't care what people want to do. But, you will not say anything to a girl who belongs to my country. I'm not okay with that.
You have stepped into Akshay Kumar's shoes with the new Hare Krishna Hare Ram. There were reports sometime ago that you would be teaming up for a film...
See, there are lot of directors who are willing to make something, but nothing has been finalised yet. Akshay sir has been very busy, but if something comes across, I would be very very happy to work with him.
You're also doing Baadshaho. What's your role?
Milan Luthria (director) has given us strict instructions not to talk about it. But having said that, I will never do anything that I have done before in my life, so it's not at all similar to anything I have done before.