Apoorva Lakhia plays the antagonist in Knock Out


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It looks like recession has given Bollywood directors a chance to live out their acting fantasies. The season of directors turning actors is upon us full-blast. After a full-fledged debut as leading men by Farhan Akhtar and Rituparno Ghosh and cameos by Sudhir Mishra (Corporate), Karan Johar (Luck By Chance) and Anurag Kashyap (Luck By Chance), it is Apoorva Lakhia's turn.

Unlike his colleagues, Lakhia will be seen as a villain in buddy Sanjay Dutt's film Knock Out. Ironically, he plays the guy who wants to kill Dutt.

He plays what a source from the film's unit describes as, "The villain, a highly scientific very precise killer who uses a combination of killer squads, sophisticated technology and razor-sharp mind to locate and liquidate Sanjay Dutt...Lakhia's character turns the tables on Sanju so quickly and with lethal efficiency. His character is volatile and unpredictable. Lakhia takes the audience to a gripping climax where he fights it out with Sanju."

According to sources from Knock Out, Lakhia's is one of the best villainous roles seen till now. When asked about it, the director, currently keeping low because of recession and the ensuing aridity of movies on the floors, says, "Where did you hear about this? I'm really not at liberty to talk about it. Before my character kills Sanju, my producer will kill me if I squeal."

Director Mani Shankar too chooses to remain tight-lipped. But a source says shooting with Lakhia was not easy. Apparently, the shooting got cancelled three times when Lakhia was to give his first shot for Knock Out.

Says the source, "There was rain thunderstorm and strong winds every time director Mani Shankar tried to take Lakhia's first shot. Yes, the shooting got postponed three times, almost as if nature was conspiring to keep Lakhia off camera. Finally the director decided to shoot the scene despite the bad weather. Although he had spent so much time behind the camera, it took a while for Lakhia to figure out how merciless a close-up lens could be. There were lots of intense off-camera discussions between Mani and Lakhia before every shot."

After the experience Lakhia was heard telling the director, "Direction is so much easier."

Incidentally, Apoorva Lakhia's cousin Aditya Lakhia is an actor. He played Kachra in Lagaan.