x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Salman Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez on new hit Kick

Salman Khan tells The National about his new action comedy Kick, and all the singing, cycling and goon-bashing the role demanded of him.

Salman Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez in Kick. Courtesy Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment
Salman Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez in Kick. Courtesy Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment

“I was supposed to do a film with Sajid 10 years ago. But he got busy and I got busy,” says Khan, 48. “Then there was this one idea that came to us, which we both loved.”

The idea was to remake the 2009 Telugu superhit of the same name. With Nadiadwala as the producer and Khan as the lead, it was the director’s chair that remained empty. First A R Murugadoss and then Shirish Kunder were signed up for the project but both had to pull out for various reasons.

“This was Sajid’s cue to turn director – something he actually should have done 10 years ago. His knowledge of every aspect of filmmaking is phenomenal. From his visual sense to his knack for screenplay, dialogue, everything. And most of the films he has done, he practically co-directs them. He has his input on the story, screenplay, dialogues and it was time for him to get into the director’s chair,” says Khan. “For this film, there was no better person.”

Nadiadwala is not the only one wearing a new hat for this project. Khan has contributed his voice to the soundtrack with the song ­Hangover, which was released on July 1 and has, according to the ­actor, “caught on”.

“It was very difficult,” says Khan about his experience singing for the screen. “I am not a trained singer. I sing a little bit. When somebody else is singing, I can sing with that person. I think it’s OK to sing a little off because nowadays the technology is so advanced that they can take a note that is off here and there and they can bring it in tune. So even if you sing badly, they can make you sound super.”

Another skill Khan had to quickly master for the film was bicycle stunts.

“I have been doing so many action movies and it’s all the same: high kicks, low kicks, jumps. Cycling is something I haven’t done since Maine Pyar Kiya in 1989. I really enjoyed doing the wheelies and the small jumps. Sajid wouldn’t let me do the big jumps. While shooting, I used to be in the backstreets practising my wheelies and jumps all the time. They used to come naturally to me before. I actually used to ride the bike on one wheel rather than two. It took a lot of practice, but it came back to me.”

For the Sri Lankan model and actress Fernandez, Kick was a dream ­project.

“I have worked with Sajid on two projects before but this was one of his most ambitious projects. It was his directorial debut, and starring Salman Khan,” says Fernandez. “When I signed this movie, I thought they had given me such a big break for which I am extremely thankful. It could have been anyone. Any actress would die to be in this role, but they chose me. All I really want from this movie personally is that Salman and Sajid are happy about having chosen me.”

Khan is full of praise for Fernandez as well.

“The most amazing thing about her is that the way she is when she is off camera and interacting with you in real life, is exactly what she is like on camera as well,” he says. “She is so spontaneous and natural. It keeps me on my toes. When your co-actors start doing the same thing over and over again, you can feel it. But when you work with someone so spontaneous and natural, she does you a lot of good. She makes you react differently and that happened to me for this film.”

The duo’s sizzling on-screen chemistry is obvious from the film’s trailers.

“I think chemistry is something that you can’t work on,” Fernandez says. “It just happens. Because Salman is so good-looking and so charming, it is very easy for him to create chemistry with his actresses. Trust me, I did not have to try very hard.

“Despite being very high on action, Kick has got a lot of heart,” she sums up. “The basis of it is all very ‘Indian’. The culture is expressed very well. That is what people will find most endearing.”

“It has every possible emotion,” adds Khan. “It has super comedy, a huge amount of stunts, great music. It’s a young film and is visually outstanding. The screenplay keeps on opening up and there is some really good storytelling.”

Kick is out now in UAE cinemas

artslife@thenational.ae