A Bollywood newcomer rarely gets to do what Punjabi actor Gavie Chahal got to do for his first Hindi movie "Ek Tha Tiger" - punching Salman Khan over 25 times for a scene in the spy thriller. He is thankful to the star for helping him and being patient during the shoot.
"There was a fight scene in the movie where I had to punch him (Salman) in the ribs. I was hesitating but he really encouraged me and made me practice. There were at least 25 punches before the take. He was very helpful. He guided me about my future as well. I am so happy to work with him," Chahal told IANS.
He has earlier worked in Punjabi films and television serials, and feels "Ek Tha Tiger" is an ideal project to make an entry into Bollywood.
"I think I am lucky. I couldn't have had a better debut. I am with the No.1 director (Kabir Khan) and the No.1 cast (Salman and Katrina Kaif) of Bollywood. The combination is perfect for anyone," he added.
Chahal, who acted in Hindi TV serials "Mohe Rang De" and "Mrs. Kaushik Ki Paanch Bahuein", stressed the fact that he will be playing a "very important character" in the film.
He says that he has acted "exactly as Kabir Khan told him to".
"It was a great experience. Mr. Kabir never made me feel inferior to anyone on the set. I was also treated as a star. There was never a time when I was not treated well. He treated everyone as an actor," he added.
A known face in Punjabi films and music, Chahal has acted in movies like "Yaaran Naal Baharan" and "Mehndi Wale Hath".
But Bollywood is his preference.
"It's obvious that I will give preference to Bollywood if I ever have an issue with dates. But I will never say no to Punjabi films or even television. First preference is Hindi cinema and then my television shows and Punjabi films," he said.
A mechanical engineer by profession, Chahal never thought he would enter the world of acting.
"My friends forced me to start modelling because of my height. Eventually, I did music videos and shifted to Mumbai when I started doing Hindi soaps," he said.