Deepika Padukone insisted on doing all the action scenes in Chandni Chowk To China herself and director Nikhil Advani says that the actress sailed through the tough stunts.
"There were some scenes that we thought to be too dangerous. But she insisted on doing away with the body double and also the wirings," said Advani, who has made films like Kal Ho Naa Ho and Salaam-e-Ishq.
"She's very athletic, it runs in her family. Then there was Akshay Kumar to inspire her. Akshay had done so much on-screen action. It was a novel experience for Deepika. And she sailed through the action. She worked really hard to get the posture and power in the action scenes. Those who've seen her in Om Shanti Om will be shocked," the director said.
The film has been inspired by the real-life story of Akshay who is currently riding on the success of Singh Is Kinng."The film's flavour comes from Akshay's real life. He's a boy from Chandni Chowk (in Old Delhi) who went to Bangkok as a cook. My writer Sridhar Raghavan wrote the role with Akshay's real-life story in mind. "The character's personality comes alive through Akshay. Thanks to him, we finished ahead of schedule."
Advani has shot the film in China and Thailand and says that it caters to children as well. "Chandni Chowk To China is a children's film. I don't think kids will try to attempt to climb the nearest wall to fight after watching the film, but we'll have lots of kids joining karate classes."
Before shooting his mirthful martial arts film, Advani sat down with his leading man Akshay and watched a number of karate flicks. "Before I started making this film, my interest in the martial arts was restricted to Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Bruce Lee and the Crouching Tigers of the world. But Akshay brought out the hidden dragon in me.
"He made me watch a lot of action scenes. Before we left for China he'd make me sit down every morning and make me watch one Kung Fu film and explain the subtexts. By the time we left to shoot I understood the martial arts much better."
The film's shooting is complete, but Advani doesn't want to hurry its release. "All the shooting is done. Finally, we Indians have invaded China. We were gone for 95 days. We shot for 89 days in Shanghai and in the interiors of China and lots of action sequences on top of the Great Wall of China.
"But the post-production is very complicated. The action sequences are like nothing we generally see. The action builds the plot and characters. We've shot it exactly the way we want. I don't want to rush the release. Akshay's superstardom isn't going away anywhere," the director said.