Shah Rukh should not have done Zero, says Lilliput: ‘What is there to act when playing a dwarf?’

Actor Lilliput, who was seen in Dekh Bhai Dekh and other movies and shows, says Shah Rukh Khan should not have done Aanand L Rai’s Zero in 2018. He says the film did not show the emotional and social problems of a person with dwarfism.
Shah Rukh Khan’s portrayal of a dwarf did not impress Lilliput.
Shah Rukh Khan’s portrayal of a dwarf did not impress Lilliput.
Updated on Dec 03, 2020 09:33 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Entertainment Desk

Veteran actor Lilliput, who has worked in several films and television shows, has said that he was not impressed with Shah Rukh Khan’s portrayal of a dwarf in 2018 film, Zero. Lilliput says that the film did not explore the emotional and mental harassment that a little person faces in their life.

Shah Rukh played Bauaa Singh in the movie, which was directed by Aanand L Rai. Bauaa was a quick-witted dwarf who falls for Anushka Sharma’s scientist with cerebral palsy. There was also Katrina Kaif, who played a Bollywood star in the movie. The film was about his love story and how he ditches one woman in pursuit of another. The film used special effects to make Shah Rukh appear as a dwarf.

Lilliput, says Shah Rukh should not have taken up the role for two reasons. The first being that there is ‘nothing to act’ about being a dwarf. “Even when I did not know the story of the film, my reaction was still that Shah Rukh Khan should not have done this film. A normal-looking person can still act as someone who is blind, doesn’t have a leg or an arm, is deaf or mute. He will have to act. What is there to ‘act’ when playing a dwarf? A dwarf speaks, walks, thinks like a normal person. Only his legs and arms are small or he has a distorted figure. But his wit and manner of speaking is no different. When you are playing a blind person, you have to act because you are pretending to be blind even when you can see. When you play a person who cannot walk, you have to pretend to be one and convince the audience of it. How will you convince someone that you are a dwarf? When you are so famous,” he said in an interview to Bollywood Hungama.

Lilliput’s second grievance with the film was how it did not show the emotional impact that dwarfism has on a person. “When you decided to play a dwarf, you didn’t touch upon the emotional, psychological and social problems that dwarves go through. You didn’t show the trauma and tragedy of a dwarf. Anushka Sharma played a woman with a far more tragic story than him. She couldn’t speak or walk. He was the one jumping around, doing everything, what problem does he have? So even the script was weird. Don’t know how someone so intelligent, successful... they too make mistakes,” he said. Lilliput added that Shah Rukh could not convince the audience as a dwarf as expertly as he does when he does his romantic movies.

Lilliput, whose short height earned him multiple roles of dwarves over the years, had previously said in an interview that even he is not a dwarf. Even before the film’s release, he had said in an interview to The Quint that Shah Rukh didn’t look like a dwarf. “Shah Rukh Khan looks short-heighted but not like a dwarf because a dwarf’s body structure itself is quite different. He appears to be a normal human being with short height,” he had said. The film was a box office and critical flop and Shah Rukh or Anushka have not announced their next projects since.

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