Did you expect Dhoom to be such a blockbuster in the first place?
We actors expect all our films to be blockbusters because we put that kind of effort into them, we hope for the best. We had all worked very hard, we knew we had something normal and unique and simple. We then worked towards making the best possible film that we could make and thankfully the audiences appreciated our efforts.
Dhoom 2 will be your first sequel, did you have to reprise your mannerisms and attitude from the first role?
Actually my first sequel was Lage Raho Munnabhai, where I played a very prominent role. I did, I was the main guy in the film yaar. So Dhoom 2 was my second sequel.
Being a sequel it was that much more easier, because you know the character, you know what the character can do and cannot do and having worked on an entire film being that one particular character, it was interesting because in the sequel we just got to tweak Jai Dixit a bit but we didnít have to establish his character as it was already established, so we got to play with him a bit, for e.g. in Dhoom 2 I feel Jai Dixit is slightly more relaxed thatís reflective in the way he dresses in his general attitude. Iíd like to be believe heís a bit more cooler in this film, cool in the sense heís calmer and more level headed, has things more planned out. So thatís the plus point of doing a sequel because in the sequel you get to tweak the character instead of just developing it and establishing it.
How different or similar is Dhoom 2 from Dhoom?
Itís the same genre but I believe itís a different film. Iíd like to believe itís a bigger and better film but being the same genre it can be associated as the same kind of film, but what I really liked about Dhoom 2 was that its not about fast bikes and thieves, itís more than that. And at first I remember questioning Adi and Sanjay saying that it should have more of what the original had, to which Adi had a very good answer that if you give them the same thing again, they are going to get bored of it. The very reason why the audiences liked Dhoom if you do that in Dhoom 2 they will say okay, what are you serving this time? So I liked the fact that they went beyond the script of just Dhoom. In that sense it is its own movie, but it is the same genre.
You have Hrithik and Aishwarya as your adversaries, what do they bring to the Dhoom board?
They bring a whole different dimension, they bring a whole lot more viewers weíd like to believe, weíve been very selfish Uday and me in Dhoom 2, weíve hired bigger stars so that more people come to watch the movie.
You have played a con man in Bunty Bubli and Bluffmaster, and in Dhoom 2 you play the cop, which is tougher and why?
Everything is challenging, the endeavour is to do challenging work and to push yourself to do work that you have not done in the past. So I thing everything has to be challenging, if itís not challenging, itís not going to be fun, and youíre not going to enjoy what you are doing and if you are not enjoying what you are doing, then you are going to be dishonest to your profession, which is sacrilege for us. Having said that, keeping in mind that I believe that your work should be challenging, the challenge in Dhoom 2 was to make Jai Dixit that much more interesting than he was in the first part, yes, heís the same character and I am repeating myself here, but thatís where the challenge lay, having kept the same foundation, how do you make him more interesting this time round, how do you retain the audiences attention on him? So it is challenging, all kinds of roles are challenging as they should be.
How did you like the music of Dhoom 2 as compared to Dhoom?
I think the music of Dhoom 2 is weaker than Dhoom, thatís because I only have one song in this film and in another song I am standing by the bar. I am convinced that I could have out danced Aishwarya and Hrithik Roshan, Bipasha and Uday Ďtoh baye haath ka khel haií. I have only 1 song in Dhoom 2 in Dhoom I had 3 songs. I think itís very unfair, but what can I do. Itís nice music.
Did you do your stunts yourself and what was it like?
We did a lot of the stunts, but being an action film, there are a lot of safety precautions that are taken. Amin our stunt co-coordinator especially is very meticulous when it comes to safety and very very particular, so there are a lot of stunts that every actor is very willing to do and very keen to do but Amin didnít allow us because he thought that we didnít really need to do it. He believes in the mantra of safety first, and that his actors donít need to do each and every stunt. There were certain specialized stunts like jet skiing or some motorcycle riding stunts which we were not qualified to do, so which specialized people were called in to do them, but we try and do as many stunts as we are allowed to do.
What according to you was the best moment while shooting this film?
Itís very hard to choose, but Rio was great fun, but for me just whenever all the actors were on set was special. I was very lucky because every actor from Hrithik, to Uday to Aishwarya to Bipasha all very close friends of mine, it was just great to be with all my friends.
Did you feel you were in competition with Hrithik while shooting the film?
No not at all, Iíve never been one person who believes in competition, instead of competition I would like to believe Hrithik is more of an inspiration for me. He makes me work harder, he makes me a better actor, and he makes me want to do my best, so heís more inspiration than competition.
What was it like shooting in South Africa and do you have a message for your fans there?
This was the first time I shot in South Africa, though itís not the first time Iíve been there, we shot in Durban and around Durban, last time I went to Durban was some 16 years ago. It was wonderful to go and see how much the cityís developed, it was a wonderful experience, the production capabilities over there were wonderful, the production from their side was very well organized, they made us feel completely at home and really took great care of us, and pampered us and spoilt us to a certain degree. Iíd love to go back there and shoot again. Message for the fans out there, thank you for your love and affection over the years, and I hope we get to come down there more often, to meet in person if not then to continue entertaining them through our movies.