His waistline was 44 inches and he weighed 130 kg once, but thanks to rigorous workouts newcomer Jackky Bhagnani shed 60 kg and is now set to flaunt his well-toned body in his debut film Kal Kissne Dekha being shot at this Thai resort.
"Obesity is the biggest disease of mankind - bigger than even cancer. Your self-confidence is low and you become mentally sick. There was a time when I used to feel conscious because of my weight. I was never at ease. It was a very bad phase of my life," said Jackky, son of well-known producer Vashu Bhagnani.
Asked who had the best physique in tinsel town, he said: "Priyanka Chopra is the fittest of all actresses. She is fit, agile and athletic. Among guys, Hrithik Roshan is the fittest. However, now there are a lot of male actors in the league," Jackky, who is shooting for his father's Kal Kissne Dekha in Pattaya, told IANS.
Not only did he lose weight, Jackky also took acting lessons to groom himself.
"I went to Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute (New York) for a year with a reference letter from Shah Rukh Khan. They needed one from a big personality - and who bigger than Shah Rukh himself?
"I also took a couple of dance classes with Shiamak Davar and a couple of other people. I took dancing lessons because I wanted to become technically perfect in dancing because I love it," the budding actor said.
Despite all the training, the 24-year-old admits he was really tense while facing the camera for the first time.
"I was very nervous on the first day of my shoot. No matter how trained you are, when you are actually in front of the camera, you feel that you will just freeze in front of the camera.
"I felt like I can't speak or move, but thanks to my director and my cameraman I overcame initial fright. They played a huge role in making me feel comfortable," he said.
Jackky stars opposite debutante actress Vaishali Desai in Kal Kissne Dekha. Directed by Vivek Sharma, the romantic thriller is scheduled for an April release. It is the story of a young college boy who can foresee the future.
"It is a well-packaged film and has all the ingredients that a newcomer would need," said Jackky, who actually entered the world of Bollywood at the age of 16, though not as an actor.
He started as an assistant producer under his father and went on to become the executive producer for films like Shaadi No. 1 (2005) and "Silsilay" (2005).
"When I started assisting my dad, I was the youngest producer in the country. But I didn't want to become a producer. However, working behind the scenes really helped me understand the technique. I also learnt how much pain people take to make the person standing in front of the camera look good," he added.
Jackky is keeping his fingers crossed for his maiden venture and says he is open to playing diverse roles in future.
"I would want to do every role possible and even the roles that people don't expect me to do. I wouldn't like to categorise myself. I have a long way to go.
"My whole take while shooting Kal Kissne Dekha was that I'm not here to prove a point. I'm here to actually show that I enjoy what I'm doing. I am just trying to make a small space for myself," Jackky said.