Shahid Kapoor and Samir Jaura in an exclusive interview talk about building up and breaking down the actor's body for Kabir Singh. The actor first gained 8 and then lost 14 kilos for the film.
For an actor who is admittedly particular about being in shape, Shahid Kapoor is surprisingly unperturbed about being undone on screen for Kabir Singh. "It's always character before your personal life," he says before chronicling the process of first gaining eight kilos, and then losing 14, for the film.
For the weight gain portion
What Shahid wanted
The team decided to first shoot the portions that saw me out of shape. The character goes through an emotional phase; he is self-destructive and doesn't care about how he looks. Actors are used to [looking] their best, at all times. But, here, I had to look as disinterested as I could about the way I appeared. Hence, we took the decision to grow the hair and beard. They took about two-and-a-half months to grow out, and during this phase I worked with my trainer Samir Jaura on drafting a plan and achieving the [hefty] look. If you sit down and make a plan, there's a smart way of [gaining weight].
How Jaura helped him
Shahid wanted his body to be de-constructed to play an [alcoholic] surgeon. We wanted the puffiness on his face and the softness in his body to make it as real as possible. So, we limited his training to one hour a day. We incorporated light weight training and focused on keeping his joints mobile because we knew that post this, he would have to get into a strenuous workout regimen to lose 14 kilos. So we didn't want to invite any injury at that time. His diet helped him achieve the [heavier] look. If his body needed 2,000 calories, I was giving him 3,600-4,000 calories a day. He had a lot of dense-calorie foods, involving rice and pastas.
Weight to gain 8 kilos
For the weight loss portion
What Shahid wanted
I wanted to look boyish for the younger portions to play a medical student. I didn't want a perfect body; one that was manicured or chiselled because that's not how college-going boys look. Seventy-five per cent of what you eat depends on your diet. I don't drink alcohol and am a vegetarian. Generally, I live a healthy lifestyle. To lose weight, I needed to severely cut the calories I consumed, and train harder. Even though we were training, the look was achieved more via the diet; not so much in the gym. We had two months to lose the weight. I didn't want to rush into anything since that is not healthy.
How Jaura helped him
Since he wanted a boyish look, we incorporated a lot of boot-camp training, beach training and agility work into his routine. He was training for three hours a day, and it was primarily cardiovascular work to [shave off] the fat. He was consuming four to five meals a day, and the calories were limited to 1,800. Transformations like these are conducted under professional guidance. You need to understand the requirement of the look in the film, and the time in hand to achieve it. The hardest part is maintaining a certain look across the shooting schedule because actors [expend a lot of energy while] shoot for 10 hours a day.
Weight to lose 14 kilos
Pooja Makhija on his diet
Shahid has always given exercise a lot of importance, which makes a transformation of this kind relatively simpler because he is dedicated. If I give him an eating pattern, he will not tweak it to the slightest, even if that means eating the same food for 30 days. A vegetarian diet allows enough scope to adjust the protein and carbohydrate ratio. But, it may not be easy to comfortably include all the protein that's required into the diet. So, we had to also include protein extracts from plant sources. I worked with his trainer to adjust his carbohydrate and protein ratio based on the energy expenditure (including workout intensity) for that day. Carbohydrates are energy sources, and were upped when needed," says Makhija, connecting with mid-day as part of her association with an AXN show.
18% Kapoor's body fat percentage when he was overweight
9% his normal body fat percentage
The average body fat % for
a relatively healthy man is between 15 and 19%
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