Beijing Olympics led Nikhil Advani to shoot in Bangkok

December 4th, 2008 - 10:37 am ICT by IANS  

John AbrahamMumbai, Dec 4 (IANS) It was director Nikhil Advani’s dream to shoot “Chandni Chowk To China” in China, but it could only be partially realised. After shooting for a while, the crew had to hastily leave the country as Olympics authorities found it to be an intrusion in the preparations for the international sporting event that took place in August.”It was the year of the Olympics in China and it became impossible beyond a point to shoot in the country where our film is based. Maybe a quieter, less flamboyant film…But not the kind of action that Akshay has shot,” Advani, who has earlier made romantic dramas like “Kal Ho Naa Ho” and “Salaam-E-Ishq”, told IANS.

If Kabir Khan’s “New York” starring John Abraham, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Katrina Kaif is being shot in Philadelphia, “Chandni Chowk To China” was later shot in Bangkok.

“Bangkok’s topography is quite similar to China. Also, it’s a very Bollywood-friendly country. So we just had to let go of the real country because the action scenes required Olympian skills and infrastructure,” Advani said.

Akshay had to battle it out with globally known actors like Gordon Lieu, who was in “The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin” and Roger Yuan, the main baddie in the Jackie Chan starrer “Shanghai Noon”.

“Gordon Lieu is a well-known name in Hollywood and Roger Yuan is the only Asian actor who works out of Bollywood. They both play arch villains. Then I’ve a cast of actors who are stalwarts in China. They held their own against Akshay, even when they were taken out of their home ground and put into Bangkok masquerading as China.”

Incidentally, apart from Akshay, Mithun Chakraborty, who was also quite an action star during his heydays, has been given to do stunts in “Chandni Chowk To China”.

“Action is the backbone of my film. While other films have item songs, ‘Chandni Chowk To China’ has item action. It’s the action scenes that move the plot forward. The songs are extremely situational. I’m very lucky. I got Bappi Lahiri to re-do his ‘Bambai se aaya mera dost’. I think the music is a decent follow-up to my ‘Salaam-e-Ishq’,” Advani said.

As for the high expectations from the film, the director said: “Yeah, I’m getting nervous as the release approaches.”

Advani, along with his partner Mukesh Talreja, is set to produce a film adapted from Hollywood hit “The Wedding Crashers”.

“Our production company (Orion Pictures Private Limited) has got together to co-produce a Hindi version of ‘The Wedding Crashers’ with Warner Brothers. We have bought the rights and David Dhawan will be directing the film for us.”

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