After a delay of two hours, actors Vin Diesel and Deepika Padukone along with director DJ Caruso finally graced the stage for the press conference to promote their film, XXX: Return of Xander Cage. The film is the third in the XXX franchise, and boasts of a global cast, including Padukone, who plays Serena Unger, one of the main characters.
The actors and director talked about their experience working with each other. “To make this film is a dream come true and to have this premiere [for the film],” said Caruso, referring to the warm welcome the team received on Thursday morning, which included women dressed in Maharashtrian nine-yard saris greeting them.
“Cinema is global and [XXX: Return of Xander Cage] is not an American action movie, it’s a global movie,” he said alluding to the cast, which, apart from Padukone, includes Donnie Yen from Hong Kong, Ruby Rose from Australia and Tony Jaa from Thailand, among others.
Diesel regaled the audience with anecdotes about his childhood, and added that he has wanted to work with Padukone for many years. “The fact that you see the love between the two characters played by Deepika and myself is evidence of the global harmony [of the film],” the actor said, reiterating Caruso’s point of the film’s diversity.
Lastly, Padukone took the mike to thank Caruso and Diesel for having faith in her ability to essay the role of Serena. “I feel so proud as an Indian to represent our country on a global stage,” she said, adding that she believed female characters in films such as XXX: Return of Xander Cage are finally getting their due.
In the question-and-answer session that followed, attendees enquired about Padukone’s choice to play the role of Serena, the deliberate decision to retain her Indian accent, and what the international cast members found special about working with Padukone.
Being playful in their replies to the press, both Caruso and Diesel also hinted at the possibility of another film in the franchise, which could possibly even include a dance number with Padukone and Diesel.