Salman Khan was in Chennai recently, along with the Dabangg 3 team, including heroine Saiee Manjrekar, Director Prabhu Deva, and Kichcha Sudeep, to promote the Tamil dubbed version of the film. The B'town superstar started his speech in chaste Tamil - “Jallikattu Kaalai Ready”- which apparently is a bit of dialogue from the movie.
Salman talked about his Chennai connections, and why he is a big fan of Rajinikanth, among others things.
“My connection with Chennai goes long back, well before I became an actor. As a model, I came to Madras to shoot for an ad at an ECR resort. Later, I was here to shoot for the 2004 film Phir Milenge directed by actress Revathy. Of course, the climax of my biggest breakthrough, Wanted, was shot here in Chennai for nearly a month. I have also partied quite a bit in the city and have tasted the best foods here”, he said.
The actor said he was an enthusiastic watcher of Tamil movies. “Remakes of a couple of films from here turned out to be among my breakthroughs. They include Vikram Kenny's Sethu and Vijay's Pokkiri. We in Bollywood are really happy about the way the South Indian films perform there. Be it Prabha's Baahubali or KGF, they have been received with open arms. Similarly, I hope you will welcome Dabangg 3 here and Tamil audiences will accept me after watching the flick”, he added.
Talking of the South Indian phenomenon Rajinikanth, he said “I am a huge fan of Superstar Rajinikanth Sir and I have spent quite some time with him. When the audio launch of Robot happened at YRF Studios in Mumbai, I just showed up there. Rajini Sir was surprised to see me because I was an uninvited guest. I just wanted to see him. Earlier, I spent time with him while we were doing a show together. He has shared a lot of things with my father,” Salman said.
On Prabhu Deva, director of Dabangg 3, he said, “He is a man of few words, but a master blaster when it comes to direction and dance. Dabangg 3 is a prequel to the first part, where you'll get to see the actual story behind the birth of Chulbul Pandey. There are a lot of emotional sequences and we are missing Vinod Khanna Sir a lot. We made his brother perform my father's role in this film and it is as if Vinod Khanna Sir is still alive through him.”
Heaping laurels on Salman for being fit, Kichcha Sudeep said, “though I did not do any preparation for the antagonist's role, luckily for me Pailwaan had happened a little earlier. It was only because of the workouts I did for that movie that I dared to go shirtless in front of Salman. To be honest, you can't beat him when it comes to fitness.”
The trio shook a leg to the film's anthem number, ‘Munna Badnam’.
Producer Kotapadi J Rajesh will release the Tamil version of Dabangg 3 with a bang on December 20.