B-Town actors go the extra mile to portray real life characters

Emraan Hashmi is said to be wearing four-inch heel insoles to get Azhar's lean, tall look in a biopic. A look at actors who have been training hard to portray real characters...

Playing the protagonist in a biopic requires actors to get into the skin of the character for relatability's sake. Farhan Akhtar underwent 18 months of rigorous physical training to play Milkha Singh on screen.

Emraan Hashmi. Pic/Satyajit Desai
Emraan Hashmi. Pic/Satyajit Desai 

Priyanka Chopra took up intense boxing training to pack a punch as Mary Kom. With a slew of biopics slated to hit the silver screen in the coming months, actors essaying real-life heroes are doing all that it takes to get their part right.

When Emraan Hashmi was chosen to play former Indian cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin in an upcoming biopic, many wondered how an actor of average height would do justice to the role as Azhar is over six feet tall.

Skeptics, however, were forced to eat their words when the recently released teaser displayed a tall and lean Emraan Hashmi walking out into the middle of the pitch with the collar of his Indian jersey turned up. Not just that, it was accompanied by the trademark Azhar swagger. Even the cricketer's son reportedly mistook Emraan for his father in the teaser.

Getting into the character was a big task for Emraan. For starters, the actor had to wear a four-inch heel insoles of sorts to acquire a height of 6'1''. A basketball shoe flushed with other heel materials was used to help the actor get the desired height.

And to attain the lean and mean body structure, Emraan took to running and stopped working out which helped him lose significant amount of flab. Azhar, too, has been offering Emraan tips on batting techniques, including his famous wrist flick.

Aamir Khan
Aamir Khan

Trust Mr Perfectionist to scale the Everest to look like his real-life counterpart. After playing Mangal Pandey on screen, Aamir will yet again take the biopic route as he prepares to play ageing wrestler Mahavir Singh on screen in 'Dangal'. The actor started beefing himself up to look his part and currently weighs 95 kgs. And completing the ageing look is a crew hair cut and thick white beard. The superstar has also been training himself in the ring and was recently seen mastering a wrestling move called Dhobi Pachad. On the diet front, Aamir has gone vegan with eggs and milk off his diet roster.

Arjun Rampal
Arjun Rampal

He is all set to play gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli on screen in 'Daddy'. At first glance, the handsome actor doesn't look even a faint match to Gawli's rugged looks. And that was the exact take-off point for Arjun. The actor started losing oodles of weight to a point that he looked emaciated. His cheekbones became more prominent as did the dark circles under his eyes. The only glitch remains his height, for Gawli is vertically challenged while Arjun is a six-footer.

R Madhavan
R Madhavan

Maddy plays a boxer in his upcoming film, 'Saala Khadoos' based on the life of a boxer named Laal. While gaining weight for his role was routine and expected, the actor went as far as wearing braces to acquire a lisp that was essential to his role. The actor was not keen on faking things and got himself fitted with lingual braces (behind his teeth) to acquire a seemingly natural lisp. Madhavan has now been wearing it for almost a year. In the bargain, he has also ended up cutting his tongue at times.

Ranveer Singh
Ranveer Singh

Essaying the role of Peshwa Bajirao on screen is a big responsibility and Ranveer has at the very outset made sure to get his look right to match the handsome features of the Maratha warrior in 'Bajirao Mastani'. The actor had to shave off his head and has been careful enough to keep his bald look concealed with a big cowboy hat.

Sushant Singh Rajput
Sushant Singh Rajput

In what could possibly be his biggest film till date, Sushant is ensuring that he leaves no stone unturned to look every bit as MS Dhoni on screen. And so far, the actor has got his looks eerily right — from sporting shoulder length hair to practising Dhoni's trademark helicopter shots. He has also been investing his time in jogs and short sprints to train his body to look like Dhoni's.

When Hollywood actors went the extra mile to play real life characters

Charlize Theron gained 30 pounds and had shaved of her eyebrows, don prosthetic teeth for her role of the serial killer Aileen Wuornos in 'Monster'.

Ben Kingsley shaved his head and lost a lot of weight to portray Mahatma Gandhi.

Will Smith gained 30-40 pounds to play the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali.

Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto lost oodles of weight for their respective roles in 'Dallas Buyers Club'.

Adrian Brody for his role in 'The Pianist' practiced for four hours a day on the piano.

In order to play his role of disabled Irish artist Christy Brown in 'My Left Foot', Daniel Day-Lewis used a wheelchair throughout the shooting.

For his role of the boxer Jake LaMotta, Robert De Niro gained a lot of weight.

Jared Leto gained 70 pounds to portray the role of Mark David Chapman in the film 'Chapter 27'.

Eddie Redmayne spent four months prepping and researching to play the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.

Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Marcus Carl Franklin, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw, all six actors transformed drastically to look like legendary rocker Bob Dylan.



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