It’s been five years to the day Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif’s action packed thriller Ek Tha Tiger opened to box office records. The film, which traced the relationship between a RAW agent and an ISI agent, made Rs 198 crore at the domestic box office. As we celebrate five years of the film, director Kabir Khan goes down memory lane and reveals bits from the sets that we bet you didn’t know.
Trouble with Turkish snipers
“We were shooting in an area which was near the Syrian border (Syria- Iraq - Turkey border). There were Turkish snipers on nearby hills because there was some threat in that area. We were shooting with guns and firing and it led to a lot of confusion. As a result, all of us had to lie down for flat 10 minutes so that the snipers knew in which area we were shooting the film. It was important that they don’t mistake any of our crew for terrorists and shoot,” says Kabir.
Katrina shot most of her action scenes
Kabir says, “Katrina was doing action of this scale for the first time and she actually performed a lot of stunts, which were pretty tough, herself. She underwent training which was very surprising because they were very difficult to execute.”
First Indian film to be shot in Cuba.
“Cuba was memorable because it was the first time that there was someone from Bollywood who was shooting there. It is a beautiful place but equally difficult to reach but the effort was worth it,” says the director.
Ek Tha Tiger’s success changed Kabir’s life
“It was a huge hit that year and that kind of commercial success does change things around you. Things become easier and people show more confidence in you with bigger, larger projects. A good successful film always does that. I had only done two films till then (Kabul Express and New York), so Ek Tha Tiger obviously made a huge difference to my career,” he says.
Stunt directors from 14 countries
It was an extremely exciting shoot. We employed action directors from Bollywood, and we also hired stunt directors from 14 different countries. The action scenes were shot on a high scale and we shot in five countries (Apart from India) across the world - Cuba, Ireland, Turkey, Syrian border and Thailand.