Pradhuman Singh, the 27-year-old who plays an Osama lookalike in the recently released Tere Bin Laden, says he felt like a celeb the first time he walked out of the vanity van.
“We were shooting in a studio, and the moment I stepped out, heads started turning and then there was pin-drop silence. The security had to come and take me through the crowd,” he recalls.
Singh was working with a software firm when he got a call from an old buddy, debutant Abhishek Sharma, the director of the film.
“We knew each other from our theatre days, but we hadn’t spoken in years. When he called, I thought he wanted me to assist him. When we met, he said ‘I want to play you something’, and gave me was an Osama Bin Laden tape!” he informs.
Singh didn’t think he resembled Bin Laden till people started reacting to his look.
“It was as big a shock to me as everyone else. My family and friends knew I was working on a film but had no idea that it had anything to do with Bin Laden. It was only earlier this year that I asked a few close friends to see the promo of the film on YouTube,” he says, and remembers being flooded with calls asking him “Where are you in the film?”, though some recognised him because of his smile.
The actor had to lose a lot of weight for the film. “I was 74 kgs, and now I am 63. I had to hit the gym because they didn’t want an Osama with a paunch. But now I plan to gorge big time to make up for the time I didn’t eat my favourite delicacies. I also learned Arabic for eight months to get my diction right,” he says.
Son of a naval officer, Singh studied at Delhi’s Naval Public School, and then enrolled at the Institute of Hotel Management. He didn’t like it much, so didn’t graduate. “I was working with Wipro when the Osama offer came along,” he says. “I quit my job because I couldn’t sail in two boats.”