Bollywood's Superwomen in training

Deccan Chronicle.  | S Ramachandran

Entertainment, Bollywood

Bollywood’s top actresses are hard at work, training to make their action roles credible

Kangana Ranaut

Bollywood actresses are pushing the envelope in an effort to get action roles. Tired of playing damsels in distress, top Bollywood stars are working out hard to make sure that the roles they perform are believable.

Katrina Kaif, who has essayed many action roles in films like Phantom, Dhoom 3 and the Tiger series, is now working very hard on Tiger 3. The actress has dropped some videos on her Instagram handle demonstrating the level of ‘action’ she has achieved and thanking Kuldeep Shashi for the training he has been giving her.

The video, in which she’s seen wearing a whit tank top teamed with black tights and a grey sweatshirt, her hair in a high braid, was captioned “#work actually I would be nothing without the amazing teachers and trainers who work so patiently with me @kuldeepshashi learning something new every day,”

Action director Allan Amin, who has been choreographing many stunts in Bollywood, says “Top actresses are training for weeks together. The girls are also undergoing multiple types of training, depending on the nature of the character.”

As per reports, Katrina is training with a South Korean crew to master stunts for the latest film in the blockbuster Tiger franchise starring Salman Khan. She is learning kickboxing and combat skills. “Katrina is training with a South Korean stunt artiste and some action specialists to get perfect for the role. These people have been flown into Mumbai to help her train for different kinds of action sequences,” says a source, adding, “She first had a fortnight’s training session along with Salman Khan for Tiger 3.”

For Tiger Zinda Hai, Katrina had trained in combat using guns and swords.
Salman has a South African trainer, according to the source. And now Deepika Padukone is training for Pathan. She had worked with Farhan Dhalla in the US in preparation for high performance action sequences in the Vin Diesel film xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage.

“Deepika had to train for two months. I was aware of her background as a dancer and did not want to lose out on that. So we did everything from functional training to weight training and the training lasted for a long time,” says Dhalla about Deepika’s earlier effort. She had also trained with a former marine called Mike for another project.

Deepika is now learning the ropes from international action directors and stunt artistes.  “Deepika is training not just for Pathan but also for Fighter. The two films have different grammars. While Deepika will have to do raw action sequences for Pathan, Fighter, being an aerial franchise, will have rather different modules. Hence the training for each is different. Deepika will need to use arms for the film, and engage in hand-to-hand combat. She will do weight training and functional training,” says a source.

Kangana Ranaut, who is working on Dhaakad now, and has been posting videos and pictures of her look in the film, is also doing hand-to-hand combat and all kinds of fights. She has major gun-wielding sequences.

Kangana has also trained with a South Korean team for Dhaakad. She has a Bulgarian body double in the film. She has learnt a few stunts, but the makers have made sure that she does not do stunts that could result in injuries,” says the source.

Kangana is also learning rope climbing and other important stunts for her role in Tejas, which is about the journey to being an Air Force officer. A few days ago, Kriti Sanon put out a poster of her upcoming film Ganapath where she is playing an action role opposite Tiger Shroff. “I hope to learn some action from Tiger. He is so good,” says Kriti , who has also started training for the role in the film.

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