Calling the shots

Calling the shots

Tuned in

Filmmaker Rohit Shetty, who is known for his nonsensical comedies and masala films, will soon hit the small screen as the host of the new season of ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’. Shama Bhagat talks to the director about his stint on TV and his love for action .

Having had the biggest blockbuster Chennai Express to his credit last year, filmmaker Rohit Shetty is set to create another blockbuster on television this year. The director will turn a host for one of the most successful reality TV shows Khatron Ke Khiladi (the Indian version of Fear Factor). While Akshay Kumar has hosted three seasons and Priyanka Chopra managed to host one of the seasons of the show, Rohit is planning to break the previous TRP ratings. Known for his adrenaline pumping action, Rohit may bring a new colour to the show that will see 12 television and film actors battling it out in Cape Town, South Africa.

This is not the first time that a filmmaker is hosting a reality show. Directors Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Anurag Basu, Sajid Khan, Farah Khan have already been there, done that. Speaking about his TV debut, Rohit says, “I was excited when they offered me the show, as I love action. Akshay and Priyanka have already handled the show well. They are big stars, but I am not a misfit. I fit the bill completely and I am planning on giving a new twist to the show. There will be no gender discrimination as far as the tasks on the show are concerned. Like my films, the show will have lots of humour, as we are trying to make it a family-oriented show. I don’t want any controversy or fights on my show. I will focus on the contestants’ emotional journey.”

Passion for stunts

Stunts performed on the show are touted to be extremely dangerous, and will come with a strict disclaimer for children. Father of seven-year-old Eshaan, the director says the makers of the show will ensure that disclaimers are put up on the show in a funny way to keep kids away. “Action has always been in my DNA, and my son has also taken after me. I have been trained in action by my father and action master Veeru Devgn. But I am worried about children who often try to ape adults. Although my son is trained in stunts, I tell him and his friends that when we perform stunts for films or television, we take a lot of precautions. I don’t want to frighten him or create any phobia which we elders often tend to do.”

According to the filmmaker, ignorance and lack of awareness is the root cause of fear. He reveals that his fear is always based around his family. “Losing your loved ones is the most common fear. But if the contestants on the show are afraid of something, we will try to help them and train them to overcome it,” he adds.

Speaking about the challenges he has taken up, Rohit says, “Whether it is films or television, my life has been full of challenges. It’s just how hard you work and not take things for granted. I give my 200 per cent for every project I take up.”

For laughs

Known for the comic timing in his films, the filmmaker is now trying to bring in the same humour to the small screen. “I will try to make it as entertaining as we can. We will have a lot of water and chopper stunts. We have made a lot of changes in the format of the show, and more importantly, our show will not have contestants eating worms because it is in the 9 pm slot. I have already done mock tests on how to behave with the contestants,” he explains.

The big names participating in this season of Khatron Ke Khiladi include actor Ranvir Shorey, Niketan Dheer (who played the bad man in Chennai Express, Dabangg 2 and Ready), model-actress Mugdha Godse and Daya Shetty from the CID fame. Bigg Boss Season 7 winner Gauhar Khan and her beau Kushal Tandon will also be on the participant list to add that extra spice. Pooja Gor, popular actor-couple Gurmeet-Debina and dancer-turned-actor Salman Khan will also face their fears on the show. Popular stunt woman Geeta Tandon will also try her luck this year.

Apart from the show, the filmmaker is also working on his upcoming film Singham 2. “My set designers have already started working on the film, and they are busy putting up sets in Mumbai. We will see a lot of action scenes in the film and most of it will be shot on the streets of Mumbai,” he informs.

Putting to rest rumours about a sequel of Chennai Express, the filmmaker says, “Shah Rukh Khan and I are working on another project. As of now, there are no plans for the sequel.” Laughing off speculations that he has upped his price for hosting the reality show post his Chennai Express success, Rohit says, “Chennai Express made 300 crores and even my son thinks that I have made a lot of money. But I have not made money from the film. The producers of the film, UTV and Red Chillies has been involved in it. There are also the distributors and financiers who are a part of the film, hence I want to clear the air that I have not made any money out of it.”
(With inputs from Srabanti Chakrabarti)