Mansoor Khan: Hrithik sir too says that my body is suited to be a stunt double for him
Having made a career out of (literally) taking the leap of faith, two stunt doubles tell Sonia Lulla how they can acquire any star's physique in a matter of days.
Speciality: Body double
Doubled for: Hrithik Roshan for films like Agneepath, Bang Bang, Krrish, Mohenjo Daro and War, among others
With a head full of curls and a physicality that's instantly reminiscent of Hrithik Roshan, it was almost a given that stuntman Mansoor Khan would be attached with the actor for several years, following their first interaction in 2012. Almost eight years later, Khan finds it a seamless task to ape the actor's physical stature, film after film, regardless of the transformation each one requires. "Hrithik sir too says that my body is suited [to be a stunt double for him], but adds that I should ensure I do not acquire a paunch," says Khan, whose Instagram feed is brimming with images both, with the actor, and as him.
"Unless you know your job, how can you do it right?" he questions, matter-of-factly, when we ask him about the extent of gymnastics practice he must take to, to pull off the sequences in cinema that are attached to Roshan's name. "I run a lot, train in gymnastics and martial arts, and may also add in a session of gym training, in the evening. Lifting weights can affect stuntmen in that their flexibility can be compromised. So I must work on that as well. Also, there's something that we refer to as filmy fight, which is distinctly different from judo and karate, which are defence mechanisms. There is a specific training required to pull off fights where a stuntman is not meant to touch a co-artiste when throwing in a kick or punch, but must still look like they've beaten them with an impact. There's a lot of time invested in that too."
Khan has been the stunt double for Roshan in films like Agneepath and War
Given that the task of looking aesthetically magnificent lies on Roshan's shoulders, Khan acknowledges that it is still the actor, "with his team of trainers and nutritionists", who must still do the heavy lifting — literally. "For me, when I must look bigger, I up the intensity of my routine, executing basic movements that target primary muscles like the biceps, and chest muscles, apart from doing lunges and squats. Losing weight is simpler for me."
Those performed for Bang Bang; involved harnesses
Speciality: Vehicle-based stunts
Doubled for: Salman Khan Aamir Khan, Tiger Shroff, Prabhas, Sidharth Malhotra, Vidyut Jammwal, Kamal Haasan
Saharanpur-born Javed Gauri's first brush with fame happened as the finalist of stunt-based reality show, MTV Stuntmania, a decade ago. It brought him to Mumbai, and eventually, Bollywood. As someone who has been a stunt double for a number of Bollywood and South Indian film actors, Gauri has trained his body to be malleable to suit different physicalities. "We are usually given a 30-day intimation if we're appointed for a film, and must acquire the physique of the actor within that period. It's easy to bring about a basic transformation within 20 days, if one is dedicated. When I had to double for Salman for Bharat, I had to gain weight, and indulged in a high-fat diet. But when working for a film featuring a young actor like Sidharth for Marjaavaan, I had to increase my running and training component to shed weight, and also watch my diet."
Gauri has been a double for Jammwal (Juungle), among other actors
Gauri commences each day with a six kilometre run, which, he says, is an essential to keep his body light and agile to pull off stunts on the bike, especially those that need him to lift it off the ground. Unless he is held up at a shooting schedule, he will complement his runs with a weight-lifting session. "When you have to gain weight for an actor, it becomes harder to pull off sequences. But, since we've been doing it for a while, we get accustomed. However, for sequences that are too dangerous, like those that need us to be submerged under water, we prefer wearing pads instead of gaining weight, so that we can execute it with ease."
One for a reality show. Gauri pulled it off after the stuntman who initially attempted it, died in the process
In John Abraham's fridge
What's your cheat meal:
Chilli cheese naan and dal makhani.
How often do you indulge:
Once a week, it's usually on a Sunday.
Cheat meal Vs cheat day:
It's only a single portion. I'd feel too guilty to go on a cheat day.
Do you compensate for it: I train harder the next day. On the day of my cheat meal, I do 10 to 15 minutes of cardio.
Shreyas Talpade's tip
They say your physique is made in the kitchen; less in the gym. My diet is devoid of sweets, and I restrict my salt intake.
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