Gen X stars are taking more risks and bending over backwards in their bid to enthral their fans and to get their act right in a larger-than-life role. Apparently, Jr NTR, Ram Charan Tej and Siddharth learnt sword fighting, martial arts, bungee jumping, glider-diving and horse riding to dish out believable and realistic action sequences. Now, it's the turn of the flamboyant Allu Arjun to pick up martial art tricks from a Vietnamese team and hone his sword-wielding skills to justify his maiden, action-packed role in Badrinath.
No more body doubles for T-town stars — the new generation stars are pushing the envelope and mixing up real-life and reel-life action. If Ram Charan Tej won accolades for his horse riding skills in Magadheera and bungee jumping in Orange, Jr NTR plunges from a mountaintop on his glider for his next film Shakti.
According to director Meher Ramesh of Shakti, Jr NTR insisted on doing the glider-diving himself, unmindful of the risk involved. "It was quite risky but Jr NTR was adamant about doing it. We heaved a sigh of relief, when he landed safely from the mountain peak. He learnt sword fighting in a jiffy and surprised action director Stun Siva by finishing the action sequence within no time," he informs. Even Siddharth mastered sword-wielding from Dee Dee and the Jackie Chan stunt crew, performing some daredevil action scenes as a blind warrior in Anaganaga Oka Dheerudu. Producer Devineni Prasad is all praise for Siddharth's stunts in AOD. "His strenuous practice made it easy," he points out.
Ram Charan Tej's childhood passion for horse riding came in handy while essaying the role of a warrior in Magadheera, winning him a lot of praise for handling the sword while on horseback. "Director Rajamouli told me that he would sign me only if I knew to mount a horse but was surprised with my expertise in it," he says. But what was the necessity to do a risky 14,000 feet bungee jump in a love story like Orange. "Just to pep up the light-hearted entertainer. I even overruled my dad's advice and did it. I am also learning martial arts in Miami, for my next film," he informs.
Allu Arjun had to take some tough lessons from action director Peter Heins. "Learning from the Vietnamese was a unique experience. Since this particular film demanded death-defying stunts, I thought of giving it my distinctive touch," he avers. With Shakti and Badrinath set to hit the marquee soon, we will find out if the audience appreciates the stars' efforts.