KILL Exclusive Interview With Director Nikhil Nagesh Bhat & Star Lakshya ("Amrit")

KILL Exclusive Interview With Director Nikhil Nagesh Bhat & Star Lakshya ("Amrit")

The critically acclaimed action thriller Kill is now playing in theaters and we recently sat down with director Nikhil Nagesh Bhat and leading man Lakshya to get all the details on the rollercoaster film!

By RohanPatel - Jul 03, 2024 07:07 PM EST
Filed Under: Movies

Nikhil Nagesh Bhat's Kill is now playing in theaters and ahead of its release, we were able to catch up with the director himself and leading man Lakshya to talk about the critically-acclaimed action-thriller that has been causing waves across the globe ever since its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, where it was the first runner-up for the People's Choice Award: Midnight Madness. 

As per the synopsis, "When army commando Amrit finds out his true love Tulika is engaged against her will, he boards a New Delhi-bound train in a daring quest to derail the arranged marriage. But when a gang of knife-wielding thieves led by the ruthless Fani begin to terrorize innocent passengers on his train, Amrit takes them on himself in a death-defying kill-spree to save those around him — turning what should have been a typical commute into an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride."

In our short, but informative conversation, the duo walked me through some of the film's most challenging aspects, crafting the film's emotional story, and getting into the mindset of the ultimate badass. 

Kill has impressed Hollywood so much that Lionsgate and 87Eleven - the studios behind the John Wick franchise - are already in the early stages of remaking the film for English-speaking audiences. 

The film stars Lakshya ("Amrit"), Raghav Juyal ("Fani"), Tanya Maniktala ("Tulika"), Abhishek Chauhan ("Viresh"), Ashish Vidyarthi ("Beni"), Adrija Sinha ("Aahna"), Harsh Chhaya ("Baldev Singh Thakur"), Parth Tiwari ("Siddhi"), Akshay Vichare ("Ujala"), Jitendra Kumar Sharma ("Akhilesh Jha (RPF personnel)"), Rupesh Kumar Charanpahari ("Bishnu"), Sahil Gangurde ("Badlu"), Priyam Gupta ("Kulli"), Vivek Kashyap ("Mukund"), Sameer Kumar ("Bechan"), Calib Logan ("Brahmeshwar"), Moses Marton ("Murari"), and Reyazz ("Surajbhan"). 

Kill is now playing in theaters!

Watch our full video interview with director Nikhil Nagesh Bhat and star Lakshya below and/or keep scrolling to read the transcription. Plus, please remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more exclusive content!


ROHAN: Nikhil - This is a very emotional story at its core, where did this film originate? And when did you make the decision to go all out and make it this pure action thriller?

NIKHIL: It's a great question, Rohan. So, basically, I actually always wanted to do a non-stop action film, with hand-to-hand combat, you know, I love it. I watch all action films, and I'm a huge lover of it, and when Nikhil came up with this concept, I was just thrilled. It fit into something that I always wanted to do for a very long time. For me, it was how will we get this done in a train, for 90 minutes, non-stop action, and that kind of choreography was a challenge to take on. And, I also did not know how we would get it together in India.

So, actually when we pitched it to Karan and immediately the same day, within 30 minutes or one hour of our conversation, he was like, I'm on, let's do it. And, that was also extremely empowering, because here is a studio backing your vision, fully funding the film, and action films are actually bigger to make because it is, you know, camera, crew, prosthetics, action, rehearsals, so this is nine months of hard prep. So, it's definitely a bigger budget to get into, for both Nikhil and me, this was something that we wanted to do.

We developed it for a long time, but with Dharma coming on board, it was like we had superpowers to actually do what we really wanted to do. There was no cutting corners. We brought in the choreographer, one of the best in the world, Mr. Oh from Korea for four months, who did the choreography, so we went on a journey to be able to put this film together and here we are, we broke out at the Toronto International Film Festival. We then had Lionsgate, you know, the whole journey has been quite exciting, and Kill has been really seen for what it is and loved by audiences so far and we’re excited for the Fourth of July release.

ROHAN: Lakshya - Congrats on your film debut, you’re outstanding. This is a very unique first film in that it subverts expectations, somewhat reminiscent of what Baazigar/Darr did for SRK. What was the most challenging aspect of getting into the character, physicality and mindset of Amrit?

LAKSHYA: Look, I've said it before, like when he walked into the room, I was introduced to him by the casting director Shanu Sharma, who's worked a lot with me and, in fact, has cast most of the movies I’ve directed. He just came in and as soon as he walked in, and I spoke to him, two minutes later, in my head, like there was a bubble that popped up just said, he's a movie star. And, that's what I was very bullish about platforming him on a really strong film. We tried to do Dostana, we tried to do another film, but it's actually Kill that really, really cemented all our collective energies, you know, to kind of putting him out there in the best way possible.

I'm so glad that Guneet and Nikhil, the director, were completely in agreement with me, that we believed in him. We knew he was going to put in the hard work, which he did in abundance, and the proof lies in the pudding. When you watch the film, you just know from the very first frame, you don't realize that this is his first feature film, and then full credit to Nikhil, to actually make sure and to the actual team to make sure that they positioned him in the way he really should have been, and now, I do hope after Kill that the industry has a new movie star.

ROHAN: Nikhil, what proved to be the most challenging aspect of shooting? Getting the fight and weapons choreography perfect or the claustrophobic nature of the train?

NIKHIL: It's a great question, Rohan. So, basically, I actually always wanted to do a non-stop action film, with hand-to-hand combat, you know, I love it. I watch all action films, and I'm a huge lover of it, and when Nikhil came up with this concept, I was just thrilled. It fit into something that I always wanted to do for a very long time. For me, it was how will we get this done in a train, for 90 minutes, non-stop action, and that kind of choreography was a challenge to take on. And, I also did not know how we would get it together in India.

So, actually when we pitched it to Karan and immediately the same day, within 30 minutes or one hour of our conversation, he was like, I'm on, let's do it. And, that was also extremely empowering, because here is a studio backing your vision, fully funding the film, and action films are actually bigger to make because it is, you know, camera, crew, prosthetics, action, rehearsals, so this is nine months of hard prep. So, it's definitely a bigger budget to get into, for both Nikhil and me, this was something that we wanted to do.

We developed it for a long time, but with Dharma coming on board, it was like we had superpowers to actually do what we really wanted to do. There was no cutting corners. We brought in the choreographer, one of the best in the world, Mr. Oh from Korea for four months, who did the choreography, so we went on a journey to be able to put this film together and here we are, we broke out at the Toronto International Film Festival. We then had Lionsgate, you know, the whole journey has been quite exciting, and Kill has been really seen for what it is and loved by audiences so far and we’re excited for the Fourth of July release.


When army commando Amrit (Lakshya) finds out his true love Tulika (Tanya Maniktala) is engaged against her will, he boards a New Delhi-bound train in a daring quest to derail the arranged marriage. But when a gang of knife-wielding thieves led by the ruthless Fani (Raghav Juyal) begin to terrorize innocent passengers on his train, Amrit takes them on himself in a death-defying kill-spree to save those around him — turning what should have been a typical commute into an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride.

Kill hits theaters on July 4!

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