Ranvijay Singh trains hard for film role modeled after Mike Tyson

Some friendly advice to veejay-turned-actor Ranvijay Singh whose character in an upcoming Nagesh Kukunoor film is modelled on Mike Tyson. With big shoes to fill, the actor has begun training

Director Nagesh Kukunoor has set his eyes on the boxing ring. Kukunoor will soon begin work on a film on a disgraced boxer, whose name in the film will be Angad. In real life, his name's Ranvijay Singh. Singh, a veejay-turned-actor, who came into his own after playing participant, then judge, in MTV's popular show, Roadies, will play the character of Angad.

Kukunoor, who fought more than a bout or two in the ring during his college days, said, "Though my idol is Muhammad Ali, I have to admit that Mike Tyson is who I had in mind while writing Ranvijay's role in my film. The story about a boxing champ on the edge, with anger issues, who disgraces himself and is en route to redemption, is Tyson's story."

Clearly, Kukunoor realises that Singh not only has big shoes to fill, he also has to fill out to get into character. Intense preparations have begun for the role.

Kukunoor said, "I don't want Ranvijay to fake it in the boxing ring. I want his fights to not just look real, but be real. In Fighter (Hollywood film) when Mark Walberg fights, he really fights. That's the way it would be for Ranvijay. He's training like a maniac -- muscle conditioning, weight lifting and boxing."

Kukunoor decided he would make a bio-pic on a boxer after shooting with Singh for Mod. "I realised how sporty Ranvijay was. And how physically fit. He's truly an athlete and sports adventurer. Besides, we haven't had any gritty boxing films in Hindi cinema."

Kukunoor is training alongside his leading man. "Yes, Ranvijay and I are both taking boxing lessons together. I think it's very important for a director to jump into  the ring with his actor to experience what the character has to go through. No point making a film on a swimmer if you can't swim."

The film is likely to be named Angad after the boxer hero.

"I am not making a sports film on boxing. It's a story of human redemption and spiritual atonement. The hero is a man who rises from the ashes and becomes a champ again, so that when the final fight happens, the entire audience would be cheering for him," Kukunoor added.

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