Gone are the days when a diminutive Salman Khan was shown beating a baddie twice his size. The fights now are among equals.
For the climactic battle in Apoorva Lakhia's Mission Istanbul, the reed-thin Zayed Khan put on 11 kg and weighed 75 kg for the first time in his life.
All because he had to take on the movie's bad man Niketan Dheer, who was 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 86 kg.
Zayed was excited when he was told about the climactic situation and requirement.
"I suddenly had to weigh way beyond what I ever usually did. I had to match this guy because there was a lot at stake for me. Mission Istanbul sapped me. This project meant a lot to me," Zayed said.
Zayed's director Apoorva Lakhia has pushed him to the limit. "Two days before the climactic scene was to be shot, he gave me the picture of a guy, who was 6 feet 4 inches tall and built like a rock. He looked like a mountain. With a straight face, he told me I had to fight this guy and had to look sinewy enough to look like his adversary.
"I thought Apoorva was joking. Since I played a journalist in the film, I wondered why I needed to do this. But my director was firm," Zayed said.
Zayed put on weight and toned his body to play a combative journalist.
"And to play the television journalist, I have studied the best in business. This is the kind of project that spurs you into exploring new facets of your personality. I want to be known as an actor who prepares for his roles," the actor said.