Leicester student flats are perfect location for Bollywood stars and stuntmen
Students could hardly believe their eyes when they woke to find stars of the Indian screen filming an action scene outside their rooms.
Bleary-eyed residents of Code, in Upperton Road, Leicester, were greeted by stunt men flying past their windows as they opened their bedroom curtains yesterday.
Somewhere among a crowd of film crew technicians and extras below was the Action King of Bollywood himself, Sunny Deol.
The 56-year-old star was filming Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 (Mad Madder Maddest 2), which co-stars his superstar father Dharmendra and brother Bobby.
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Jaskaran Bassi, 25, a law student at the University of Leicester, said: "I grew up watching Sunny's films back home in Vancouver, Canada.
"I'd heard he would be making a movie here in Leicester a while ago but I had no idea it would be right here.
"I woke up this morning, looked out the window and, as soon as I realised what was going on, thought 'wow!'.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a front row seat watching your movie star hero in the flesh – I'm pinching myself."
The film is being shot almost entirely in Leicester – chosen because Sunny's wife is from Oakham and the couple's two children were born in the city.
The seven-storey building, owned by developer and letting agent Jamie Lewis, was only secured as a location for the action scene on Wednesday.
Wendy Roberts, office manager at Code, said: "The producers called to say they wanted to come down to use the building and, after checking it out, said it was perfect.
"We told the students what was happening but I think many were still oblivious until the crews started arriving.
"One girl said she saw a man hovering in mid-air outside her window – he waved at her so she just waved back.
"It's extremely exciting for everyone involved."
The scene involved Sunny's character rescuing a man trying to commit suicide by jumping from the roof.
De Montfort University students Harriet Diggory, Sam Plummer and Martin Hewlett, all 18, were among dozens of extras who gathered in the cold to await their turns.
Harriet said: "A woman approached me when I was shopping in Highcross asking if I wanted to be in a film.
"They told me to come along this morning and I brought my flatmates along in case it was a con.
"It's so exciting, but not quite as glamorous as I thought it would be."
Mr Lewis said: "It's incredibly exciting to have such famous Bollywood stars on our site and I'm really looking forward to seeing the end result."
Other locations have included the University of Leicester's botanic gardens and halls of residence, in Oadby.
Producers said they hoped to complete filming by the end of next month, with a UK film premiere in Leicester before it hits cinema screens in India, next summer.