Posted: 10 February 2005 at 5:16pm | IP Logged
Guarding the body beautiful
Give an actor a flavour of the limelight, and indubitably, he'll be yearning for more!
Ronit Roy definitely belongs to that breed. "The kind of recognition and headiness you experience when people recognise is irreplaceable. That is why I was happy even despite the fact that I worked only four days out of the first year after my first film released!", he admits.
But then, Roy moved to the small screen and worked towards being a reputed security expert.
His security agency, Ace Security and Protection, has bagged four prestigious films: Aamir Khan's Lagaan, Arjun Sablok's Na Tum Jaano Na Hum, Subhash Ghai's Yaadein, and Farhan Akhtar's Dil Chahta Hai.
Nidhi Taparia met the man to learn what exactly security on the film sets means:
How did an actor land up as a security expert?
I was trained by Vikas Verma, a friend of mine who owns Property Guards. Two years with him and I decided to branch out on my own.
was the first film I took on with Vikas. It was my first big break, so to speak.
It also put my abilities to test to the maximum.
I remember there was a scene that needed 10,000 people running behind Aamir Khan. I had to organise the 200 trucks bringing in those villagers, who were all understandably excited to meet Aamir.
Now, those people were supposed to stop at a particular point, but they didn't. I almost panicked there but we managed to bring the situation under control. We whisked Aamir away to a safe location on the sets and then had him speak to the 10,000 villagers, all waiting to catch a glimpse of their favourite star.
Besides, making sure that they all left the location satisfied and did not create any ruckus was so important. It was a Herculean task and probably one of the most learning experiences for me.
What kind of an equation do you share with the stars?
I share a wonderful equation with Aamir. I got to know him really well during the shooting of Lagaan,
and he is somebody who is extremely cooperative.
For a first-time producer, I think Lagaan
is a great production. Whether it sets the BO on fire or not, I think it is one of the better films made today. Besides I think it takes a lot of guts and conviction for a first-time director to make the kind of film he has.
A period film like Lagaan
is not easy to attempt and not everyone's cup of tea.
He is completely focused and single-minded. And I have never seen Aamir upset or strained, no matter what the situation. As for Lagaan,
he has got the best talent that the industry has to offer. It is not easy to shoot a film in the middle of the desert the way he has done in Bhuj.
He is very friendly, even with his own security cover. He gives them their due respect.
It is interesting to provide security for stars and productions, which understand the value and the need for security.
Hrithik, too, is extremely cooperative. He has received numerous threats earlier. And he is always ready to listen and act according to the needs of the security and the situations that arise. Likewise with Esha or any other star I have been chosen to cover and protect. They all have my complete attention.
Though none of my stars have thrown a tantrum, there have been times when some behave out of turn.
Once, a star chided one of the security guys who was doing his job of protecting him. At times like that, we withdraw.
We are professional, but we don't get involved personally if they themselves do not understand the value of the security cover that we provide for them.
How interesting is the job?
I have sleepless nights!
I am always stationed next to the room of the star. Have gunmen next to their door, constantly take rounds at night to check whether everything is all right…
All my boys are trained in martial arts and other security techniques. Besides, they have been trained to deal with the stars.
Each situation is different. Whether it is a mob waiting late into the night to catch a glimpse of Hrithik or just standing for hours in the hotel lobby or dealing with villagers on the set and having 15 boys to keep 10,000 people in control, the challenge each presents is different.
Besides, you've got your back to the star, it is the people who are the threat, so you have to continuously keep an eye on them.
You are also providing the security arrangement for Subhash Ghai's Yaadein...
I belong to the Subhash Ghai camp. I have stayed at his house, he is family to me.
He is a veteran and his films are a class apart. Yaadein
is simply amazing, a typical Subhash Ghai film with all his touches and flourishes.
It has a different atmosphere. That's all that I can say.
Farhan Akhtar is supposed to also have started a trend of major discipline on his sets. What do you have to say to that?
Each set is different. The way a director thinks is different. As a director, Farhan is a very professional and a chilled out guy. He knows exactly what he is doing and where he wants his film to go.
Since the film is being produced with sync sound, we have to be extremely careful about the kind of security that we provide and not lose a minute on the sets.
That is the reason why people have been commenting on the security and professionalism on the sets.