Stunts are integral to every action movie. Fight sequences in upcoming Rajinikanth film '2.0' and Kangana Ranaut's 'Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi' were much applauded when their teasers and trailers were released.
With war playing a pivotal role in the latter film on Rani Laxmibai, it was mandatory that the stunts be choreographed by someone having excellent understanding of action. Ranaut and producer Kamal Jain chose Hollywood action choreographer Nick Powell after looking at his action work in 'Gladiator' (2000) and 'The Last Samurai (2003)'.
Powell is also directing action sequences in Rajnikanth's '2.0'.
While speaking to a publication about his first Bollywood project, Powell said that he designed the sequences keeping with 19th-century setting of the biopic. "I had to be correct in terms of artillery used in that era. So all my action had to be centered around horse riding and sword fighting".
Powell is impressed by Kangana's role. "Kangana insisted on doing all the action herself. The idea was to show a warrior who had been learning the ropes since a young age. Kangana practised sword fighting for eight hours a day and convincingly pulled off each stunt. I have worked with the likes of Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt but she gave me a unique experience. There were times when she pulled off smoother stunts than Tom Cruise" he remarked.
Powell had shot for 30 days in July last year but was called back again on set earlier this year to re-shoot some portions. "They wanted to better what they achieved. So when I requested for an additional crew of 25 experts who specialise in sword fighting and rope works they immediately agreed," Powell added.