Bollywood: Aditya Roy Kapur, Sanjana Sanghi tour Dubai ahead of 'Rashtra Kavach Om' release

The Bollywood actors are in the city as part of promotions for their upcoming action film



by

Husain Rizvi

Published: Wed 29 Jun 2022, 2:36 PM

Last updated: Wed 29 Jun 2022, 5:12 PM

We have seen an epitome of love in Rahul Jaykar; a best friend in Avi; a hodophile in Advait Thakur; and a comic in Akash Chauhan. The driving force behind such characters is the relatability that is brought to you by none other than Bollywood actor Aditya Roy Kapur.

He is tall, he is handsome, and most importantly he is versatile in a sense that he makes you relate to his on-screen personalities, be it in Aashiqui 2 (2013), his breakthrough performance, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013), Malang (2020), or Ludo (2020).

And now we will see the 35-year-old actor sprint into action territory with a full-blown action film Rashtra Kavach Om, which hits UAE cinemas on July 1. Directed by Kapil Verma, Rashtra Kavach Om stars Kapur alongside Sanjana Sanghi of Dil Bechara fame, Jackie Shroff, the ‘Bhidu’ of Bollywood, and Ashutosh Rana, an actor known for his villainous roles, now showing his good side, cue his last Netflix thriller Aranyak.

Kapur, Sanghi, and Verma jetted into Dubai for the last phase of promotions for Rashtra Kavach Om. After a hectic schedule of film promotions in India, which even saw the two actors sharing a wrestling ring with The Great Khali, Kapur, Sanghi, and Verma engaged in exciting activities in Dubai. They visited Amity University for a live interaction with attendees, followed by a battle in a game of XStrike, a team game played in a high-tech simulated indoor war zone with laser-operated replica weaponry.

“The fact that there’s something for everybody,” Sanghi tells City Times in a conversation about her favourite things to do in the bustling city. “You can be any kind of traveller, whether you’re a shopper, or if you want to chill or even rage, you can do it all.”

“And food!” says an excited Kapur. “There’s always some great food to try in Dubai.”

Rashtra Kavach Om follows the story of a special forces Para commando officer, played by Kapur, who is on a mission to save his country and find answers to his personal life. And from what we have gathered from the trailer is that it is a very serious Commando-types action film, which even sees a shirtless Kapur, revealing the results of dedication and commitment through a shredded body (more on this later), and wielding a six-barrel rotary machine gun, also known as the M134 Minigun, turning nemesis for his enemies. But while it may sound like an out-and-out action film, “the screenplay has a lot of twists and turns, and unexpected things that one might not get from the trailer,” Kapur says. “There’s a lot to surprise you in the film, and that’s why I am excited for people to see and experience the film.”

Watch the trailer below:

And Sanghi, sporting a chic beige outfit, eloquently chimes in saying that there’s a lot of “comic relief” in the film which isn’t spoken about. “There’s a great supporting cast, and the camaraderie and relationship that our characters share, it adds a lightness to our screenplay,” she says, adding, “so yes it’s a heavy theme, but not a heavy watch.”

What drew the actors to the film

Sanghi made her acting debut as a child artist in Imtiaz Ali’s hit romantic drama Rockstar in 2011, followed by a couple of appearances as a supporting artist in Baar Baar Dekho, Fukrey Returns, and Hindi Medium. The 25-year-old actress, however, garnered attention when she appeared in Dil Bechara, the Bollywood adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars; the film also starred Sushant Singh Rajput and was released post the latter’s death in June 2020.

In Rashtra Kavach Om, she is an agent. Although the actress hesitates to reveal her on-screen identity, she does tell us what drew her to the film. “It was just the fact that I felt such a paradigm shift after my debut film, which was a romantic tragedy,” Sanghi says. “And to get to do an action film so early on in an actor’s career is rare, so that was a huge draw.”

“It was all the people involved, Kapil directing, Adi being Om, and Mr. (Ahmed) Khan producing the film. It all felt right,” she added.

Another thing about the film, which caught Sanghi’s attention was the unpredictability of the script. “Even while I was reading the script, I couldn’t have predicted what’s going to happen,” she says, adding that the audiences are going to enjoy that a lot.

For Kapur, who has been “wanting” to do an action film for a while now, it was the “story” of Rashtra Kavach Om that drew in the Malang actor. “The first time I heard the story, it was a very short 20-minute narration and what struck me was that it had a lot going for it. It had a lot of its fundamentals in place, and a very strong emotional core and anchor,” Kapur says, adding, “So I was excited at the story level initially, and then everything else followed.”

Character preparation

Both Kapur and Sanghi are special agents in the film. That means heavy and physically demanding preparation was on the cards for the actors. “It was an amazing process to prepare for it,” says Sanghi. “I remember it was the pandemic, the world was really shut so Adi and I had a lot of peace while we were getting to create Rashtra Kavach Om. We could really chart out our days the way we wanted to with all the training we had to do, which was some amount of martial arts, weapons use, hand-to-hand combat, and then some script work.”

Kapur, on the other hand, looks like he is in the best shape of his life. While the pre-pandemic Kapur was a bit more on the skinny-lean side, he now flaunts a bulked-lean figure, which took him about four-months of “physically demanding” training comprising martial arts, weights, and a very “frugal” diet. “It was a pretty gruelling thing,” he says. “Because martial arts is kind of like cardio, then I was doing weight training in the evening, and I was also on a very frugal diet.”

When asked about how often he would cheat on his diet, Kapur said “not often” and that he finds the process of planning a cheat day “soul destroying,” to which Sanghi burst out laughing. “I can’t eat this way so I kind of just do things impromptu,” he says. “If I feel like I haven’t eaten (a cheat meal) for 12-13 days, and I’m with my friends and there’s something to eat, I’ll just eat and make up for it in the coming days.”

As for Sanghi, the actress didn’t have to physically transform herself, but just be fit and agile enough to be able to cope with the action sequences. “Not even a patch on what Adi had to do,” she says. “But it (the action sequences) takes a pretty high level of fitness, which I’d like to believe that I maintain in general. I eat everything except for junk food, so it’s simpler for sure.”

What’s next for the two actors? “A lot of action films, I hope,” says Sanghi. “Definitely a mixed basket, but the (action) bug has bitten me so I am not going to let it go.”

And Kapur, an action film fan since childhood, feels like he is just getting started in the genre. “I’d like to do more action films for sure, I definitely enjoyed myself thoroughly,” he says. “And, I want to do all kinds of genres as well. I want to keep it interesting. That’s what keeps the job engaging, if you keep doing different things. So, hopefully, a wide variety of stuff.”

Aditya Roy Kapur shares fitness tips

The Rashtra Kavach Om actor reiterates the fact that abs are made in the kitchen and majority of fitness comes from diet. “If you can sort your diet out and eat clean, you don’t even necessarily need to work out very hard. You will naturally drop weight (body fat percentage),” he said. “And consistency,” Kapur adds. “It’s okay to go off the handle every now and then, but bringing it back quickly is important.”

About the Director, Kapil Verma

Rashtra Kavach Om is Kapil Verma’s directorial feature debut and it seems it’s done on a huge scale. The process, however, isn’t new for Verma who has been working in the film industry for 20 years. “Directing people whom I have not worked with was a good experience because I got to learn so much,” he says. “And, it was fun. We all had a great time together (on set).”


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