Why did Abhishek Bachchan not use a body double for ‘Players’ stunt?

Fri, November 25, 2011 11:59am UTC by Add first Comment
Why did Abhishek Bachchan not use a body double for ‘Players’ stunt?

From zipping over cars to hanging on to fast moving trains, Abhishek has done several risky stunts in the Abbas-Mustan movie

Looks like Abhishek Bachchan has taken after his father Amitabh in more than just his height. Abhishek has taken to doing his own stunts, just like his Pa used to do in films like Nastik and the infamous Coolie. The junior Bachchan scared the entire unit of Players, including directors Abbas and Mustan Burmawala, when he insisted that he will do all the risky stunts himself. You all know that Players, which also stars Neil Nitin Mukesh, Bipasha Basu and Sonam Kapoor, is a heist flick and so has several high-octane action sequences – car chases, actors running under planes hovering just above their heads and speedy trains running amok. Nowadays, most of the stunts are computer generated (like the train sequence in RA.One), but Abbas-Mustan decided to actually film it on location in Russia. They had planned a stunt sequence which involved two trains speeding next to each other at almost 90 kilometres per hour and Abhishek running between them. Following standard practice, the director-duo hired body doubles for their lead actor.  Little did they know that he is not one to let someone else do his stunts. We hear he refused to let the body double do it for him. His reason? That the body double’s life is as precious as his own so he doesn’t see why the double should risk it for him. The directors, and Allan Amin and the Russian stunt director who are in charge of the action sequences, persuaded Abhishek to rethink his decision, but Abhi was adamant. They then suggested doing it with stationary trains and using computer graphics to make it seem real, but Abhi refused that too, saying he didn’t think it would have the same impact. Finally everyone gave in, secured him with protective harnesses, and let him do the stunt. We really appreciate Abhishek’s logic – who nowadays thinks of the well-being of stunt doubles? It was really sweet of Abhishek to consider someone else’s life too. However, we can’t help thinking about the body double and whether he will be paid for his time, even if he didn’t do the stunt. With CGI widely available, job opportunities for stunt doubles are rapidly dwindling. On top of that, if more stars insist on doing their own stunts, these guys will be left without any means to earn a livelihood. Yet, Abhishek’s logic of everyone’s life being equally precious cannot be denied. It’s a strange dilemma and we just hope the producers don’t skimp on the poor stunt artiste’s paycheque. And Beti B puts some sense into Abhishek’s head before he starts shooting for another action flick like Dhoom: 3!

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