Exclusive: Shahrukh’s stunt body double Anish Mirza tells the whole story of Jawan becoming the perfect Jawan Vikram Rathod.

Shahrukh Khan’s film Jawan is writing a new success story at the ticket box these days. Shahrukh Khan is in a double role in this film. The role of the father in the film i.e. the character of Vikram Singh Rathore is garnering him the most applause. In such a situation, it will be interesting for the audience to know that Shahrukh Khan’s body double stunt man Anish Mirza has made an important contribution in the shocking stunts of Shahrukh Khan for his character. Urmila Kori’s conversation on Anish’s association with this film, experiences and challenges.

How did you get the opportunity to become Shahrukh Khan’s body double in Jawan?

Earlier I had shot Thums with him. I did his body double in that. Apart from this, he also worked as a stunt man. In the scene, Shahrukh picks me up and throws me on a table. Many months had passed since the shooting of that ad. One day I got a call from the production team of Jawan that Shahrukh Khan sir wants to meet you. I went to his bungalow Mannat to meet him. He looked at me and said yes I know it, I have worked with it. Yes, lock it. The production team said that you are locked, so now you have started rehearsals. By the way, on 18th September I am shooting again for CMT Saria’s ad film with Shahrukh Khan.

What kind of rehearsal did you do?

First of all I had to increase my weight. He wanted someone who seemed elder than his son. To become Vikram Rathod, I had to increase my weight by seven to eight kilos. We used to rehearse before every action sequence of Jawan. In which we perform stunts keeping safety in mind. The entire stunt is choreographed step by step. We shoot all that. The preview type lasts for one minute. We show it to the director. This makes the work of the director and DOP easier. They understand how it will happen.

What was your first scene in the film?

Before the interval, in which Vikram Rathod enters. That was my first scene. To be honest, he was an action director from South India, his style was a bit tough, the way he asked me to perform. Apart from this, the second problem was to perform in the style of Shahrukh sir and I had not seen Shahrukh sir performing in that style before, but Shahrukh sir helped completely. He gave me a five-minute brief on that character and how it would play out. If you throw a punch like this, it helps a lot. By the way, Shahrukh sir himself was very careful that my body double should look perfect. He used to pay close attention to my hair and body language on the monitor. I was wearing a wig. This was also the longest shot scene of the film. Full 15 days were spent in this sequence.

Any particular scene which was difficult to shoot?

There was a wrestling scene in the flashback of the film. The mud that is visible on the screen. It was actually multani mitti, but during the shooting, to make the scene effective, they were throwing loads of multani mitti, due to which it was difficult to even open the eyes. Was it difficult to perform the scene on that?

Did Shahrukh Khan have any special reaction to your performance?

Sir was happy. Atlee sir also liked my work. In the beginning I was very nervous whether I would be able to do it or not. I was worried for the first two to three days, but with everyone’s help, things became easier.

Did you do Shahrukh Khan’s bike stunt?

No, the foreign stunt man was brought in especially to perform that stunt scene.

Has Jawan been shot in Chennai only?

No, shooting took place in Chennai as well as Mumbai. The car chasing scene you are watching. That happened in Aurangabad. I had a schedule of 25 days in Chennai. The same amount of time was spent in Mumbai also. Shooting took place at Lakes and Khandala Ghat of Filmcity. Shooting has also taken place in a studio near Yash Raj Studio.

Tell us something about your background?

I grew up in Mumbai only. I have been active in the industry for eight years. Ranbir had a body double in Shamshera. I did all the horse riding stunts. Tiger’s body double was done in the war. Apart from this, he also had a body double in the films Heropanti and Baaghi 2.

Have you ever thought that I should try my hand at acting?

He started as an actor only. Have also done an acting course. Have done some advertisement films. Have also done small work in one or two films. My father Rafiq Mirza is a part of this industry, he is associated with action. He was the body double of Sunil Shetty, Govinda and Salman Khan in the 90s. He said that you have to struggle in acting but also make a stunt man card. As soon as my card was made, people started calling me because my height and body were good. Everyone felt that this hero could become people’s body double. I became the body double of Sooraj Pancholi in the film Hero. After that my journey started.

How much difference do you find between when your father was body double and now when you are?

Now the job of a stunt man has become very secure. My dad has jumped from a ten floor building without the support of any wire. There were only mattresses downstairs. My dad is badly injured. Nowadays, a lot of security is taken care of. Everything is of very good quality. Currently, only cuts and scrapes are considered injuries. That too while breaking the glass. (Laughs) It is said in the industry that if a little blood does not come out while breaking the glass, it means the glass was not good.

Have you also taken any special training in stunts?

In my childhood, I used to go to the sets with my father and used to watch him doing stunts, so a little of it came from there automatically. I am also very fond of dancing. B-Boying, I have learned the dance form, so it also helps me in stunts. Took training from Action Assistant in Juhu Beach. I created my own style from all this.

You wanted to become an actor, so how happy are you with the recognition of your body double?

I wish to act, if I get a chance I would like to do it, but at the moment I am happy with the identity of a stunt man because big actors and directors know me by name. Give respect. Who knows whether he would have been able to reach this position if he had been struggling in acting. It was possible that he could have done only one serial.