Actor Randeep Hooda says Extraction gave him a chance to step out of his comfort zone in Hindi cinema to do some 'Rambo'-like action with "tough Aussie" Chris Hemsworth, his co-star in the film.
The movie, slated to release on April 24 on Netflix, will see Hooda in the role of Saju, the man responsible for bringing Hemsworth's Tyler Rake to the extraction of his boss' child.
As the trailer shows, Hooda and Hemsworth feature in a stunning knife fight sequence. The actor said he loved being part of an out-and-out action movie and is open to similar international projects in future. "My character, as they say, is the wrecking ball. He is responsible for Chris and other characters' involvement. His people don't have the money so he feels that we will just give them the job and when it's time to pay, he will just whack them out and take the boy home.
"But it turns out that Rake is a tough Aussie and you cannot get past that," Hooda said in an interview with PTI and a group of international journalists visiting the Bangkok set of the movie last March.
The actor, who has starred in Bollywood films such as Jannat 2, Highway, Kick, said working on the film was akin to stepping into a different world. "I got a great gun and I was waiting to fire some blanks and be like Rambo. I've never done this kind of action before. It was really, really cool. The stunt team in this movie was absolutely amazing whether it is driving, guns or hand-to-hand combat.
"The first day, I thought what have I got myself into but then it started to grow on me. Your body is the most beautiful instrument you have and action movies put it to good use. As you stretch your limits, you realise you've got to look after yourself better." Hooda, who studied in Australia and calls his cab-driving experience there "the best acting training" he had, said Hemsworth is a "quintessentially an easy going guy".
"Chris is a tough Aussie. He is charming, very easy going, well prepared and he has got great energy. The leading man in a film controls the energy on the set.
"It has been an absolute pleasure working with him. We exchanged a few blows but that's okay. He is a quintessentially easy-going Aussie who does not have any airs about him," he said.
Recalling his meeting with director Sam Hargrave, Hooda said they connected via Skype and interestingly, both had long, flowing beard. The actor, who was shooting for The Battle of Saragarhi at that time, is in a clean shaven look for the film but retained his long hair.
Praising Hargrave, who was the stunt coordinator on the last two Marvel movies and has worked as the stunt double of Captain America star Chris Evans, Hooda said it was reassuring to see the director matching steps with his actors in challenging sequences.
"He was quite in charge. He makes choices that are not dictated by the scheme but the environment… He is ready to experiment, very confident and open to suggestions… "He would be hanging to the cars, hanging off stuff and if you are falling off a building, he would also be on a rope and falling with you… I have never worked with a director who is also an action guy."
Hooda does not consider himself strictly mainstream. Streaming services, he believes, have further blurred the borders for artistes around the world.
"I have always felt that I'm an actor, I just need a good script and part in it. English is not the most comfortable language, but I'm good at being a parrot. I can get into other languages pretty well. So I always felt that there is a world out there that doesn't have boundaries.
"I would like to work all around the world. There is a comfort zone that might come with working in your own country. I'm really looking forward to more projects and be good at representing my country as well as well as being a part of the world cinema," he said.
The film also features Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Pankaj Tripathi, Golshifteh Farahani, David Harbour and Priyanshu Painyuli in key roles.