Vidyut Jammwal: A Man Of The Masses
Vidyut Jammwal: A Man of the Masses

There are very few iconic anti-heroes in Hindi cinema that are remembered more that the hero of a film. And, there’s no refuting that Vidyut Jammwal has created the very niche for himself

You’ve seen him break bones and smash heads on-screen, but it takes a very simple mantra for Vidyut Jammwal to look so good while doing it in a scene – setting bigger goals, and seeing how far he can go.


There’s also no refuting that there are very few iconic anti-heroes in Hindi cinema that are remembered more that the hero of a film. And well, Vidyut Jammwal created the very niche for himself with his debut role in John Abraham’s Force. While most debutants opt for conventional good boy roles, Jammwal chose to do something different. Looking at it as a challenge, the actor broke boundaries and became a bankable name in no time.



Clearly, there were only positives about this bad boy image that people saw in the many roles he did after Force, followed by Commando, and the rest, as they say, is history. Not too long after, Jammwal surpassed people’s expectations and set the bar high for action films. He was even referred to as ‘India’s answer to Bruce Lee and Tony Jaa’ by the international media and action directors. Naturally, one would think that it took Jammwal a lot of dedication to come this far, but his mantra has been quite simple.  


That said, the actor believes in being in competition with oneself, in pushing one’s own boundaries. So much so, his fresh, energetic vibe emanates across every room he enters. And, it was no different as the actor dropped by for a quick chat about being the biggest anti-hero in the industry today, his life beyond the lens, and the plan ahead for his year-old production house, Action House Films. Excerpts: 


You’ve created a niche for yourself and people expect a lot of action when you are on the screen. Does that put any pressure on you film after film?  


I think it is a compliment for me. I really enjoy it when someone comes up to me and tells me that they are looking forward to what I am doing next, or tells me what they want me to do or how they expect me to surpass myself. When I am releasing a movie, there is trepidation. However, I really enjoy it.  


But, there will always be competition. How do you look at it? It is a positive take on competition from your peers? 


There will always be somebody new. People will keep coming in and this is not something that’s been happening currently. I feel the more the merrier because when you set a benchmark, you will realise that there will be other people who are also trying to do the same. I think the more people work on it, the more we also will want to surpass ourselves. I think India can have much more talent doing action films rather than just a few of us doing it. The number is very limited to me, John Abraham, Tiger Shroff, Ranveer Singh, and more. I think we can have more actors doing great action.  


Why do you think this is the case? Is this a genre people don’t enjoy much? 


Top Gun: Maverick is the highest-grossing film of the year. So people do love watching action films globally. But why do we have such a less number, I absolutely don’t have an idea. It should be more. 


People expect a certain kind of action in your film, but how do you make sure you are offering something different to them every time?  


It has just been a few years since I have got to do things the way I have wanted to do them. Initially, I was doing whatever I was offered. Then I got to choose from the many offers that I was getting. God has been really kind and now is the time when I choose what I can do. When I did a Khuda Hafiz, I could be the man that I really am. I cry very easily and I can fight for the people I love. I would like to raise the bar for what I have already done in Commando. So the time is now when I am really enjoying what I am doing. I just did a film titled Crakk, which will be the first extreme sports movie in the world. When I turned producer, the first thing I did was get the best resources in the world. I trained with them and shot with them.



Talking about doing more things, do you think you’d be exploring the OTT space more in the future? 


Anyone who says that they don’t want to be a part of it would be very ridiculous. So the answer is, of course, why not! 


You’ve mentioned that you have never been a fan of watching action films. What genres do you like? 


I don’t enjoy watching action movies because I like to do action movies. The cinema I like to watch should be something that I am not doing in my life regularly. I love romance and comedy as a genre. The horror genre I don’t like. My top movies would be Dumb and Dumber.  


From your films to your fitness, you’ve worked on everything so meticulously. What makes you give your best shot?  


I don’t see anything in my life as a hustle. When you start seeing it as hustle then you might need inspiration and motivation. I just enjoy the journey, hence, I just love what I do.  


Where does this modesty come from? 


I get this compliment a lot but I think it is not a compliment. because being humble is normal to start with. The question should be to the people who are not humble. It should be the first nature of human beings.  


Kalarippayattu is one of the finest forms of martial arts. It requires determination. What helped you reach this level of excellence? 


I have not sacrificed anything. Getting success is not always about what you sacrifice, sometimes it is about what you gain. I only see it this way. I’ve gained excellent people around me and that’s what has made me into who I am. I spend time with people who are brilliant and who teach me a lot and hence, I sacrifice mediocrity. Discipline comes from enjoying what you do. If you achieve that, you’d be naturally disciplined.  



If you could have just one day to do anything rare that you’re usually restricted to, what would that be?  


I do everything I wish to. I was just discussing this with a friend and they told me that the thing with stardom is that your freedom goes away. But I completely disagree with it. Yes, you cannot do a lot of things that you have done all your life, but when you have done them why would you want to do them again? There is so much I can do because I am famous. I recently went to the mountains and was buried deep down to my neck in ice. If I was some common person, I would not have gotten permission to do that.  


A piece of advice that keeps you going even on the bad days?  


It is too small a question to answer because there are so many things. But I can add that breaking your own barriers is the only thing that everybody should do. It is not even advice, it just simply means that when you have excelled at something, then your next goal should be to surpass that excellence. I like putting myself in tough situations and seeing how far can I go and achieve excellence.  


Has fitness always been a part of your daily routine? Were your childhood and teenage days any different?  


If I say that fitness has been an integral part of me, I would be limiting what I do. Human science really inspires me a lot. The whole human anatomy really impresses me. What can the human body and the mind do? How can you push the level of your mind? These things really inspire me which also comprises fitness.   


While heroes are what make Hindi cinema masala, how did you manage to give anti-heroes a new definition? Was it a conscious decision to take on such roles?


It is called good luck, and good direction. When I was trying to be an actor, people told me never to do negative roles. So I broke my own barrier and I did not listen to them. I believed that this is the work that I have to do right now and I gave it some time. It was never a conscious decision. As I said earlier, I did not have the liberty to choose earlier. 



You are pretty active on social media as well. Being a star, are you conscious of what you’re putting out about your life in public? 


I don’t think about the negative comments, I am not scared of them. From the zillion comments that I get, if even 10,000 are the bad ones, the percentage is so small that if I think about it, then I am a fool.  


Acting was once considered an undesirable avenue in India. Do you think the apprehension still exists? 


I am not aware of such people. I don’t meet people who think this way. I only meet people who say that their son or their daughter wants to become a part of the industry. I have not met the other lot and if there is one, they need to be told that it is a dream place to be.  


Any advice for such people who wish to foray into cinema? 


Yes, work really hard in whatever you know. You don’t need to learn a lot of other things, but just need to learn the one thing you really know and excel in it. Keep doing it till the end and be the best at it.  


What are your goals for the New Year? 


I am producing films now under my banner Action Hero Films, and the motive to do that is to work with all the brilliant people that I watched when I was trying to get a grove. This includes cameramen, actors, writers, or anybody. That is my next plan. I want to work with people who are amazing at what they do but never got acknowledgment for that. And when I will work with them, I will try everything.  


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