Kiran Shah: The Littlest Stutman
In our latest "10 4 10" interview, we ask ten questions to actor/stuntman Kiran Shah, who has been in some of the biggest movies in the last 40 years, such as "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "Lord of the Rings", 'Return of the Jedi", "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" and the upcoming "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"
SWJ: Good to talk with you Kiran, I have read that you are also write poetry, how long have been a writing poetry?
Kiran: I have been writing Poetry for forty-seven years.
SWJ: What got you starting in being a stuntman?
Kiran: My first film call “Candleshoe”, I was standing in for a Chinese girl. Stunt coordinator Bob Anderson spotted me on location and said that from the back you look like your stand-in with long black hair wig and dress. How would you like to be her stunt double, do the fight scene and will be thrown about. I said yes and did her stunts. From there he started to put my name out to other stunt coordinators. That’s how I got into stunts.
SWJ: How was it working with JJ Abrams in "The Force Awakens"?
Kiran: It was Fantastic!
SWJ: What can you tell us about your role in the new movie?
Kiran: Due to my agreement with Disney, can't say anything, nothing at all.
SWJ: One of your earliest roles was working on "Raiders of the Lost Ark". What was that like?
Kiran: I had fun working on “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. It was a small part “Abu” and I got along with the cast and crew. Everyone was friendly. Steven Spielberg was a friendly and easy director to work with. I enjoyed my time being on set with all.
SWJ: You also return to the Indiana Jones world playing the stuntman for "Short Round". How was that?
Kiran: Yes I doubled for Jonathan Quan as Short Round. I remember one stunt where I had to climb a cave wall in the studio. The walls were wet so it was slippery and on top of that it was cold so to grip the holds was difficult. I kept slipping but still managed to climb up. Even with safety equipment it was still difficult.
SWJ: What has been your favorite character to play
Kiran: My favorite would have to be Ginarrbrik from "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"
SWJ: What role has you found to be your most challenging?
Kiran: My most challenging roles were ‘Blunder’ in Legend, as it was my first major character. I had to think about his journey in the adventure and the path he was going to take. Also ‘Ginarrbrik’ in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, he had to be evil but not too scary and be funny at the same time.
SWJ: Can you tell us a little about your work with "Kenya Association of People with Dwarfism"? Is it harder for someone with Dwarfism in Kenya?
Kiran: My manager, was contacted by a small person from Kenya who started the “Kenya Association of People with Dwarfism”. He told me about it and sent me the email. I read the email and said yes I would love to get involved with it. In the email he said that small people have problems like, some families are ashamed of them and do not let their small children go out or mix with others, even small people who get education find it hard to get work even if some of them do get work they are treated like children etc.
While I was there for over a week I was asked to make awareness of their problems by doing TV, radio and newspapers interviews and showing that we are the same as everyone and should be treated with respect. I was the keynote speaker and opened the “Kenya Association of small people” launch.
SWJ: How many Ewoks did you play in "Return of the Jedi"?
Kiran: I played a few different ones Ewoks. Whenever you see a Ewok swinging, falling, tripping over and getting hit it was one of the stunt Ewoks. We had a few stuntman playing Ewoks.
SWJ: Thank you Kiran for taking the time to talk with us.
Kiran: My pleasure