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Mission Istanbul'Mission Istanbul' promises adrenalin trip
24th July 2008  22.00 IST
By Nikhil Kumar  

Dodging rocket-propelled grenades and jumping from high-rises were some of the stunts that the cast of this Friday's release Mission Istanbul had to brave.

Zayed Khan , the chocolate boy of Bollywood, says he had no idea what he was getting into when he agreed to do 'Mission Istanbul' with director Apoorva Lakhia . Though he knew the film was an action-packed thriller, he did not anticipate that he would be doing something as dangerous as jumping off the terrace of an 8-floor building for the film. And when he finally did it, he loved it.

So physically challenging were the roles that Zayed and Vivek Oberoi had to prepare their bodies and acquire a brawny physique for their stunts.

And what were the stunts like? Here are a few samples.


Imagine Zayed and Vivek on the top of a building. A helicopter flies close by. The two literally pounce on the opportunity and jump from the terrace into the flying chopper. The chopper then heads towards the sea. When it hovers above the ocean, Vivek and Zayed jump out. And as a final blow, Vivek turns around during his fall and fires at the chopper, blowing it off as he plunges into the waters of the blue ocean.

That was precisely a scene that Zayed and Vivek shot for 'Mission Istanbul'. Though the two stars had the option of using a body-double each, they preferred to do the scenes themselves. The stunt was done under the guidance of action directors Javed and Eijaz who have previously worked with Lakhia in Ek Ajnabi and Shootout At Lokhandwala .


Doing his own stunts was particularly taxing on Zayed Khan who had never before been a part of such a full-on action flick. Many times during shootings, he got bruised battered and even broke his bones.

The most dangerous solo stunt he did had him crashing through the glass window of the eighth floor of a building and falling down and landing atop a moving truck. Since it was a risky stunt, Lakhia wanted a duplicate to do the scene. But Zayed, ostensibly on an adrenaline trip, insisted on doing it. Though a slight miscalculation in the timing of the stunt could have led to something unthinkable, the stunt went perfectly as anticipated. Luck truly favoured the brave in this incident.


Sunil Shetty and Zayed Khan had a close shave while shooting a stunt on the outskirts of Jaipur where a set resembling an Al Qaeda terror camp in Afghanistan was put in place. In the scene, the two are shown as Al Qaeda prisoners who try to escape when the soldiers of Northern Alliance (rivals of Al Qaeda) attack the camp. Four helicopters were used in the scene. There were about 200 fighters and 20 big explosions.

The scene shows Sunil and Zayed making their escape by running down a slope when a rocket-propelled grenade lands near them. However, while shooting, the explosion happened closer to the two actors than planned. Sunil and Zayed were sent flying into the air by the loud explosion. They were showered with shrapnel. Thankfully, none got seriously injured.

'Mission Istanbul' has Zayed Khan playing an Indian journalist who works for a news agency in Istanbul. While doing his job he unearths the clandestine working of a terror network and becomes a target of terrorists. Vivek Oberoi plays a Turkish elite commando who helps him out. The movie also has Shriya Saran as Vivek's love interest.

The film is produced jointly by Sunil Shetty, Shabbir Boxwala and Ekta Kapoor.

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Shriya Saran

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