Why is the villain of the film called Ra.One and the superhero G.One?
Ra.One (pronounced as Ravan) is Random Access: Version One. But it also stands for a bad or negative person made with ten of the worse…you can mythologically connect it to Ravaan and his ten heads. G.One (pronounced as Jeevan) is the life giver, the one I am playing.
Why did you name the film after a villain?
Many of my friends, including Karan (Johar) and Adi (Aditya Chopra) told me to name the film as G.One. But whenever I have seen a superhero or larger-than-life film, including Sholay (I am not comparing…choti muuh bari maat) or Mr India, that has superheroic characters like Jai-Veeru or Mr India, the negative character also goes big…take Gabbar Singh, Mogambo, Shakaal. The villain is so big that we need a superhero to defeat him. So I thought keeping the villain’s name as title will be a bit different. I know people were a bit confused as they thought Shah Rukh is playing Ra.One. But it’s not so. Ra.One is evil and there is no particular face to evil…anyone can be evil at any point of time. That’s the logic behind the title.
Reports say you did not take a dummy to do the stunts in Ra.One. What was the most difficult part of performing your own stunts?
If I am not mistaken, I did 75-80% of the stunts on my own. There used to be harness inside my superhero suit…it was really uncomfortable and that was the most difficult part. During shooting, I had to jump, go down and go up 30-40 feet…the holding of the harness for such long time itself was very tiring. With the harness, one cannot eat, cannot move freely…I think I lost six to seven kgs due to the harness. Now that the shooting is over, even I get shocked when I see the shots…ke kaise kar liya yaar!
What is the one thing that is a must when an actor wants to do a superhero film?
If you want to do a superhero film, you have to be physically very, very fit. And also be mentally very strong that will push him to go to sets everyday and do those tiring stunts.
The Indian audience has got its first superhero in Krrish (played by Hrithik Roshan), where visual effects played a major role. Are we going to see superior effects in Ra.One?
See, what makes me confident about Ra.One is we are the producers (Red Chillies Entertainment) and it’s our VFX unit that’s working on the project. So, that’s double the effect and can safely say we have never done such effects before. I won’t say there have never ever been such good effects, but on our part, the effort is a lot more as the responsibility is a lot more. Things should not go wrong.
Hrithik Roshan and Abhishek Bachchan have played superheroes in Krrish and Drona respectively. Have you seen the films?
I am inspired by both Krrish and Drona. When I was a child, I used to tie a towel on my back, wear blue tights of my sister and a red swimming costume over it, and jump from a higher platform. I love comics and superhero characters since childhood. I used to watch films like Teesri Aankh, Parasmani. So when I saw Krrish, I was really, really happy to see it. I won’t say envious, but I always desired to do such a film. Then I saw Drona and found it fantastic…the efforts.
How did your peppy number with Kareena Kapoor –Chammak Challo-leak on the Internet months before the audio release?
That was an earlier version of the song though people are liking the leaked version…so we are Inshallah saved. But it’s really unfortunate…I am very sad, very depressed by that. Again, that’s not D-version that will appear in the film…the original version is still with us…we will release the audio mid-August and then you will see the song in its full avatar. I have told everyone in the unit to take a little care. I think they have even found out the IP address from where it was leaked. Hopefully if we catch him, toh use maar maar ke gaana gawaunga.
You will be seen promoting ‘No Smoking’ in the film. But you are a smoker yourself…
It’s the worst habit anyone can have and I am speaking out of experience…there’s strain on teeth, bad breath, you get headache in the morning, fingers get yellow, stamina decreases. That’s the only bad habit I have. If I weren’t smoking, I would have been a saint. But now I want to seriously quit smoking and thanks to this film that I had to cut down my cigarettes to get physically fitter. I am trying my best to quit smoking. More than for my children, family and friends, I have to give it up for myself.
– Sreya Basu