Unlike their South Indian counterparts, most B-town stars look the same in every role, thanks to the minimal efforts they put in...
South Indian superstar, Vikram recently lost oodles of weight and was unrecognisable when he had to play a mentally challenged character Krishna, in his film Deiva Thirumagal. While shooting, on a busy road, the producers didn't even need to get security because most people thought that he was a madman.
Stories about actors going through rigorous rigmaroles are many. But while we get to hear many stories from excited PR personnel about how a particular star is preparing himself/herself for a role, save an Aamir Khan or Hrithik Roshan to some extent, we don't really see Bollywood stars seriously getting into any character. The biggest 'risk' that they would perhaps take is to change their hairstyle.
Even the most sensible actors take a short route when it comes to getting into the character. One would have loved to see Priyanka Chopra going through some drastic transformation for her delicious role in 7 Khoon Maaf. But all we got to see was her otherwise intelligent brain cosily sitting under a hideous hairpiece.
Vikram in Sethu
Earlier, Salman Khan in Tere Naam looked the same bulky stud even when he was in jail and going through mental trauma. We hear Vikram who had played the same role in Sethu in Tamil, had survived on one banana a day, to look the part. Salman looked like he had consumed a gallon of banana shakes a day.
In Rajneeti, Katrina Kaif, who has miraculously looked the same in each of her films, had a chance to transform herself and look the part of a politician convincingly. Instead, you get a cotton saree replacing a designer dress with that make-up intact. Oh yes, she had her poker straight tresses tied in a ponytail, if you choose to call that as being different.
Abhishek Bachchan in Guru
If Vikram and others are dedicated actors in the South, Kamal Haasan has been experimenting for decades now. Much before Aamir Khan put on those humungous muscles for Ghajini, Kamal had done it for a film called Abhay.
Haasan had also convincingly become a dwarf for Appu Raja, an amazingly believable woman in Aunty 420, a repulsive buck-toothed man in Indirudu Chandirudu (which was made in Hindi and called Mayor saab)...the list is endless.
Hollywood is full of instances (see box) where actors sometimes staked their lives in order to reach the desired look. Here, it's a challenge to differentiate between the cops played by Salman or Ajay Devgan in different movies.
Rani Mukerji in Black
Apart from stray cases where Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das shaved off their heads to play widows, or examples like Rani Mukerji in Black, or Abhishek Bachchan in Guru or more recently Vidya Balan risking putting on oodles of weight to look her part as Silk Smitha in The Dirty Picture, Bollywood's idea of preparing for a role is generally getting a more glamorous hairstyle done or veering between six to eight pack.
The stars have signed so many films, that they don't have the time to transform themselves, unlike an Aamir who makes sure that he has the luxury of enough time to prepare for his character.
When a star says he/she is doing "homework" for their next role, we know that at most they are in consultation with their hairdresser or trainer. Anything more than that would be too much of a hard work. They could as well use the time in bagging another advertisement or an item number.