Q. You made waves at the box office with Baaghi 1. Already Baaghi 3 has been announced. Did you believe when you signed this film [Baaghi 2] originally that it would be this successful a franchise?
Tiger: I never thought of it really. I was very gung-ho about the script at that time and we just wanted to do good work. I am very blessed that the first part was accepted the way it was and gave us scope to make the second one.
Q. Disha, did you watch Baaghi 1 when it released? And what did you think about it when you watched it for the first time?
Disha: I loved it. He did some kickass action and I was thinking, “What else can he do in the second part?” But he has just outdone himself.
Q. You’re the reason he is fighting in the film and as the poster says, “Rebel for love”… So, it’s an important character. What did you think about the script when you read it?
Disha: Superb! I loved it and that’s why I signed it. It’s a very beautiful story. It was a very tricky story also to shoot. But I think we have done a great job at shooting the film so nicely. And we have so many nice characters in the film which really leave a mark on you.
Q. You are definitely taking it forward. Tiger, what did you think when you heard that it would be a different team? At the end of the day, the production house is the same but the director was different, your lead star and the villains were different. Did you think it was important to give the film a breath of fresh air?
Tiger: When I was told about this, I was actually quite intrigued because we were not taking the storyline forward. It is a totally different outlook and perspective. And that being said, it’s a different story which required total fresh energies, so as to not compare with part one. So that was the idea. The only thing that remains the same is the title, and my character’s name, Ronny.
Q. Would you say that this time Disha is the main character or the main star, and you’re just supporting her?
Tiger: She is basically holding the story and we’re all just sort of there around her. She is sort of driving it forward and she is making me do the things I do, solely through her actions per se.
Q. You’ve changed your look for this film. Any thoughts about that? Cutting off your long hair…
Tiger: I was very attached to my hair… I was very emotional. I didn’t look at myself in the mirror for the longest time. Unanimously, a lot of people just started praising my look. So, hearing it time and again sort of gave me the confidence and now I am very happy with it.
Q. Pre-haircut Tiger or post-haircut Tiger? Disha, did you feel this was also necessary as it’s a new film?
Disha: Both! I like both. Yes, I think it really made a difference because he looks like a different person now from Baaghi 1. In Baaghi 1 he looked younger and now he really looks mature like an army officer. I think it really made a difference in the film.
Q. You are sporting a fantastic body in the film. Tell us about your training as you were also part of a lot of stunts.
Disha: He [Tiger] had to bulk up and do stunts. I didn’t really have to do that… I am a girl. I follow my own routine. I didn’t have to really do something in the sense of putting on weight or losing it. I just had to maintain where I am right now.
Q. How was getting more fit or acquiring more strength for you?
Tiger: More than getting fitter, it was acquiring new skills such as different forms of choreography in the martial arts like using weapons. In Baaghi 1, I didn’t have access to any weapons; it was just me—my hands and legs. Here we are scaling up the action. It’s not confined to a building, it’s out there. It’s all outdoors. Here, it’s like man versus man, man versus nature, man versus machine.
Q. I was reading an article which said you did almost over 400 hours of training for this. What were the skills you were working on, and what was the specific training process like?
Tiger: I wasn’t counting, but physically it was very grueling. It was the most challenging role thus far for me. The skills had to do with trying to make the weapon an extension of my body, getting the body language right while holding a gun, running with weapons, throwing knives and how my arms would move. Body language is something that I really had to work on for this role.
Q. The music adds to the film. Do you think that’s important as the songs create a buzz about the film?
Disha: I think it really affects the film. To take the story forward, you need certain kinds of songs. It could be a love song or a dance number, but as long as it fits the story, I think it’s right. I love music and most of us love music, and we do wait for films and we do wait for good songs. I think it helps.
Q. You’re both great dancers. How was that experience?
Tiger: She’s done a great job. We’ve got one dance number. For me, it was a challenge as the song is out of my body. I am not very fluent with Punjabi, bhangra and all that. I’ve been very Westernised when it comes to my dancing.
Q. There’s also “Ek Do Teen”, with Jacqueline Fernandes—an old song that’s been repackaged. There have been all sorts of responses to that song. What was your response to all of that?
Tiger: It was expected. But by no means can you overlook Jacqueline’s hard work and what she’s done with the song. Ganesh Acharya, the choreographer of the song, shot it to the best of his potential. There’s no comparison with the legend Madhuri Dixit and what Saroj ji had done with the original. But it’s just us giving them a small tribute and nothing else. We are not trying to relive it or step into her shoes.
Disha: There’s no comparison. I don’t know why people always compare things. We should just consider it as a fresh song rather than comparing it to the previous one. Madhuri ma’am is an icon. She is a legend. I don’t think you can compare her to anyone.
Q. It’s a great ensemble cast:Prateik Babbar, Manoj Bajpayee, Randeep Hooda… What was it like working with them?
Tiger: They inspire great work from you because these guys are par excellence the field of acting. So, you naturally tend to up your own game because when you’re facing these guys, they give you a delivery or reaction that is offbeat. So you give them an offbeat reaction to counter that. So it’s a good feeling and it’s all because of them.
Q. We see a helicopter behind you in the poster. Was that the toughest stunt for you in the film?
Tiger: I would say it was one of the toughest stunts I’ve ever done, just because of the factors around. The propeller of the helicopter creating so much noise and so much force, I was scared of mistiming the jump and of getting too close to the blades.
Q. Tiger, you’ve spoken interestingly about stuntmen and women and how they need to get more recognition. What are your thoughts on that?
Disha: I’ve also done a film with Jackie Chan and I saw how much work they put in. Truly, hats off to these guys who are working so hard off camera. You don’t really see them, but they are the people who make actors look like stars on the screen. But sadly we don’t have anything to award what they’ve done. I think there should be an award or there should be something that we do for them because it’s the hardest thing to do. In action you have to act and you have to do action. It’s physically and mentally very draining. It’s the most difficult genre.
Tiger: I am looking forward to first making a mark of my own in the industry so that my name has that sort of value which will then allow me to host a stunt award. Then we can get that recognition to them.
Q. Baaghi 3 has been announced already. How does that feel?
Tiger: For us, it’s a great feeling, a sense of pride and assurance, because our producer and director have so much faith in the film and the product. Just after seeing the film, Sajid sir [producer] was so confident that he felt like we should announce a part three. So, I was shocked and I didn’t even know there was a part three until I read that article. So, it’s a good feeling.
Q. Can we see you and your dad in a film together?
Tiger: I would love to work with my father once I gain the courage to stand with him in the same frame.