Filmmaker Rohit Shetty said that had there been ‘ego clashes’ between the three male stars of his latest film, Sooryavanshi, the audience would have noticed the odd dynamic on the screen. Starring Akshay Kumar in the lead role, the action film also features Ajay Devgn and Ranveer Singh. The film is the fourth instalment in Shetty’s cop universe of interconnected movies, following Ajay’s two Singham films and Ranveer’s Simmba.
In an interview with RJ Siddharth Kannan, the director was asked if having three huge stars ‘in the same frame’ became difficult to handle because of egos. He said in Hindi, “Absolutely not. The credit must go to Akshay, because he’s the hero of the film. On the script level itself, it was decided that Ranveer and Ajay should enter the story before the climax. If there was an issue, you’d have seen it on the screen. But instead, you can see their camaraderie. The climax is elevated thanks to their rapport, and there’s an element of comedy there as well, along with the action.”
Before directing Akshay and Ajay, Shetty had worked with both stars in various capacities in the 90s. He was previously an action director, like his father.
The filmmaker said that he grew up in the film industry, watching his dad go to work with stars and technicians day in and day out. Asked if there was any advice that he father gave him, Shetty said that the only thing he has held onto is a story about Amitabh Bachchan and his dad’s definition of what a hero is.
After a day of watching his dad direct an action sequence for one of Bachchan’s films, he asked him on their way back home if it would look inappropriate for a star of Amitabh Bachchan’s stature to be beaten up by 15 goons on screen. Rohit Shetty said that his father told him, “Theatre mein sab theek lagega kyunki Amitabh Bachchan hero hain (It’ll all be okay because Amitabh Bachchan is the hero).”
Sooryavanshi has attracted some criticism for its politics and Shetty’s typical masala-driven storytelling, but has emerged as the biggest Bollywood hit of the year, with over Rs 150 crore domestically. Shetty had held out for a theatrical release after the film was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year.