Yash Raj Films’ Pathaan, directed by Siddharth Anand, is a historic all-time blockbuster and it is on an incredible run at the domestic and overseas box office. Pathaan, currently at 970 crores gross worldwide, is now the highest-grossing Hindi film worldwide in the history of Hindi cinema and is also the highest-grossing film from YRF’s fabled Spy Universe!
Pathaan has the biggest superstars of the country, Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, and John Abraham, and a huge Tom Cruise connection. Emmy award-nominated Casey O’Neill is the action director behind Tom Cruise’s death-defying stunts in films like Jack Reacher, the Mission Impossible series, and Top Gun: Maverick. He has also worked on Marvel Cinematic Universe. Casey has planned and executed some of the breathtaking, adrenaline-pumping action sequences featuring Shah Rukh Khan in Pathaan.
Casey speaks about the remarkable similarity that he has seen between Tom Cruise and Shah Rukh Khan. He says, “They are both true professionals in their craft and so talented. Tom Cruise is a fearless actor who lives and breathes his craft and wants to push the envelope when it comes to his body and his cinema to only entertain audiences. SRK is just the same.”
Casey adds, “Shah Rukh Khan has pushed his body, he has unlearned and learned action to deliver Pathaan as an entertainer like no other.” Both are driven and committed lovers of cinema who will do whatever it takes to make the audience happy. I have worked with Tom on many exciting films. We have all enjoyed working with each other through the years. It was a pleasure working with another global movie star like Shah Rukh Khan and seeing him transform into an action star that no one has ever seen before.
Casey, who planned the brutal Dubai action sequences between John and SRK, speaks about how SRK transformed into an action star. He says, “SRK is an exceptional athlete and performer.” He can adapt to many different action sequences and excels at creating movie magic for the big screen. “He is a true gentleman and an amazing actor, and I was honored to be a part of the making of Pathaan with him and the entire crew.”
Casey has also worked on planning the Lake Baikal (Siberian frozen lake) sequence in Pathaan. He reveals, “In collaboration with director Siddharth Anand, we came up with an exciting chase on the snow and ice, taking into consideration the vast beauty Siberia has to offer.” This showed up in such a dramatic fashion and made that scene’s action look like no other. “The deep blue ice was an exceptional backdrop for the chase on Lake Baikal, which was an adventure in itself, shooting in the elements on a tight schedule before the ice melted.”