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Rajkummar Rao on his physical transformation: I’m not doing something extraordinary

Actor Rajkummar Rao says when he looks at himself in the mirror — with his head half-shaved and a paunch — he feels good and closer to his character.

bollywood Updated: Oct 06, 2017 17:16 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Rajkummar Rao,Hansal mehta,Bose
Rajkummar Rao has gone from sporting a chiselled physique in Behen Hogi Teri to an anorexic frame in Trapped and a paunch in Bose.

Having survived cutthroat competition in Bollywood during the initial stages of his career, actor Rajkummar Rao is now raising the bar, and with each performance, outdoing himself and setting new benchmarks. While the news of his film Newton being chosen to represent India at the Oscars continues to garner attention, the actor is set to appear in the web series Bose, being directed by Hansal Mehta.

A while ago, Rajkummar shared a picture on social media showing the physical transformation that he underwent for three different films. From sporting six-pack abs for Behen Hogi Teri, to going anorexic for Trapped and gaining weight for Bose, Rajkummar stunned everyone beyond belief.

Responding to what makes him experiment with his look this drastically, Rajkummar says it’s his job as an actor. “I want to push the envelope and nothing else. If my character demands me to lose or gain weight, I just do it. That’s what I expect from myself and what people expect from me, and I’ve been doing that.”

Besides gaining 11 kgs to play Subhas Chandra Bose, the actor also shaved half his head. “I’m not doing something extraordinary. Gaining or losing weight, or shaving my head half, is all part of the job and nothing extra. When I used to look at myself in the mirror and see my head shaved half and that tummy, I felt good. As an actor, it helps internalise the drive because I don’t see my real self in the mirror, but my character,” says the actor.

Rajkummar admits that for the period he had gained weight, things weren’t easy. “It took me around a month and a half to put on 11 kgs for the role of Bose. My health used to get affected. I’ve always been very active and fit in all my films, and personally also, I believe in fitness and I work out everyday. But, after putting on weight, you start feeling a little lethargic. I didn’t feel like myself in that body, which is also a good thing. I mean it’s good if I feel like Mr. Bose,” adds Rajkummar, , who has played diverse characters such as Lord Shiva in Behen Hogi Teri, a 324-year-old man in Raabta, and a transgender in Aami Saira Bano.

And what motivated him to shed all those extra kilos? The actor says, “I had to lose it, as I can’t be like this forever. My reason was the fact that I like to be fit, so I had to go back in that space, and look natural. So, I followed a proper weight loss regime, worked out really hard and kept a check on what I ate.”

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First Published: Oct 06, 2017 17:16 IST