Amitabh Bachchan remembers ‘Real action’ days

Amitabh Bachchan jumps off a cliff for an action sequence. Photo: Instagram / Amitabh Bachchan

Today, ‘body doubles’ (earlier called ‘duplicates’) apart, we have faces modified for them and harnesses that can be visually removed in post-production, apart from VFX-created backdrops like sets and more. But in the olden times, it was different—and tougher. This was because there was ‘Real Action’ then!

The actors who were cast in or specialized in such roles also included Dara Singh, Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna and Shatrughan Sinha in particular, apart from villains like Pran, Prem Chopra, Amjad Khan, Danny Denzongpa and more, and of course stunt choreographers like M.B. Shetty (Rohit Shetty’s father) who also acted himself, Ravi Khanna and others. Many of these carry memories and physical marks as memoirs, and some broken bones have also thus been a part of their careers.

Later heroes like Sunny Deol, Jackie Shroff, Sanjay Dutt and still later Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and Suniel Shetty (all in particular but there were many others) also went through such necessary ordeals and evils in the hallowed name of entertainment for the masses. Sunny Deol specially has forever damaged his body in the pre-safety budgets and gadgets era.

Films like Zanjeer, Deewaar, Sholay, Amar Akbar Anthony, Don, Ram Balram, Coolie and so many others, therefore, did not have such facilities (and luxuries) back in the 1970s and 1980s. We all remember the near-fatal accident on the sets of Coolie that changed Amitabh Bachchan’s life and health for good, even if it escalated his desire to live life to the fullest and made him reach the best phase of even his professional life.

A day or two ago, Bachchan took his social media with an illustration of how during shooting, actors had to often do dangerous stunts like jumping off a cliff on their own and posted: “Taking off from a 30-foot cliff for an action sequence…no harness…no face replacement…no VFX…and landing…err…on mattresses…if you were lucky. Those were the days, my friend.”








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