Randeep Hooda has been lauded for his performance in his latest release, Sarbjit. In fact, Amitabh Bachchan liked his role so much that he even sent him a handwritten congratulatory note recently.
Ask Randeep how he reacted when he received the note, and he says, “It was a lovely gesture by Bachchan saab. I’ve grown up watching his films. I was in Delhi when the note was sent to my home in Mumbai. My staff had sent me a picture of the bouquet; it was bigger than my dining table. It was generous of Bachchan saab to do that.”
Randeep is overwhelmed with the reactions he has received for his role. “Naseer bhai (Naseeruddin Shah) hasn’t watched the movie yet. I am eagerly awaiting his feedback. Some of my fans called me and said that they don’t have enough words to express their feelings. Even many people from the industry have acknowledged my performance publicly,” he says.
Read Sarbjit review: Randeep Hooda impresses, but the film does not
Randeep says that when he was preparing for the movie, his mother had come from Faridabad (Haryana) to spend time with him in Mumbai. “Since I had to lose a lot of weight at that time, I wasn’t eating properly. My mother would often say, ‘Other heroes build six-pack abs and eat well. And you don’t even eat properly. What will you achieve in life? I can’t watch you go through this.’ Post that, she went back,” says the Bollywood actor.
The roles that Randeep has done over the past couple of years have required him to gain and lose a lot of weight. Last year, he had to put on around 20kg for a yet-to-be-released movie. Then, he lost around 30kg for Sarbjit. Following that, for a film with Salman Khan, he had to gain 10kg. “It was freakish. After losing weight for Sarbjit, I had to shoot for a film with Salman. It was very difficult to put on that weight. The weight loss affected me physically and mentally, because I didn’t consume any carbs and sugar for a long time,” he says.
Randeep has spent over 15 years in Bollywood, but he is often criticised for not choosing the right kinds of films. “Maybe my well-wishers are right. But I am content with my choices. The roles I have done have helped me grow as an actor. Every film has been a learning process for me,” says Randeep.