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    Actor Rajniesh Duggall on why his stunts in Direct Ishq are the real deal and how critics inspire him

    FROM a dapper model, to his latest outing in a negative role, actor Rajniesh Duggall has come a long way. The actor who is 10 movies old, is all excited about essaying the role of a street thug for Rajiv S Ruia’s
    Direct Ishq set to release next month. The 34-year-old has three other films in his kitty this year — Yeh Laal Rang with Randeep Hooda, Beiimaan Love where he reprises his much-talked about chemistry with Sunny Leone and the one he is busy wrapping up currently, Udanchhoo.

    Thug life
    Shot in Benaras and Ramgadh, Direct Ishq is a love triangle with Duggall playing Vicky Shukla, a Benarasi ruffian who has to vie with a naïve but endearing guy played by Arjun Bijlani to win over his love interest. In fact, the film makers offered him Bijlani’s role but he chose to play the thug instead. Known to often give his inputs to the characters he plays, for this role Duggall suggested that the character chew paan through most scenes and take the name of Mahadev (Lord Shiva) in his dialogues. “I landed in Benaras four days ahead of schedule to observe the people I was going to portray,” shares the actor, who also insisted on doing his own stunts. Though stunt master Robert Fonesca was hesitant to let him do the climax sequence himself, this winner of season five of Khatron ke Khiladi insisted, as this would make close-up shots possible.
    Talking about Beiimaan Love, the movie in which he is paired opposite Sunny Leone, the actor shares, “My character is flamboyant, contrary to my own nature and this is the challenge that attracted me to the script.” Along with the movie’s climax, of course. “The ending is very Shyam Benegal and Rishikesh Mukherjee,” the actor allows cryptically.

    Constructive angle
    The fitness enthusiast confesses that he does take criticism to heart. “Just so that I can do my best to change the critic’s opinion with my next installment,” he admits. That’s why he took up Yeh Laal Rang, the movie based on a true story of the 2002 thefts of blood banks in Haryana. He plays a police superintendent in this soon to be released film and is the antagonist to Hooda.

    Direct Ishq releases on February 5.
    — Seema Rajpal

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