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Saif Ali Khan: For me, best homework is when I’m in costume

Updated on: 18 November,2021 09:54 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Upala KBR |

Besides piling on the kilos to play a pot-bellied conman in Bunty Aur Babli 2, Saif says he prepped extensively at home to understand character’s psyche

Saif Ali Khan: For me, best homework is when I’m in costume

Khan plays a former conman who has settled into a life of domesticity

It’s difficult to imagine the charismatic Saif Ali Khan as a flabby, pot-bellied man. But doesn’t the joy of acting lie in becoming a character far removed from you? “It was quite a bit of flab,” laughs Khan, who piled on the kilos to play the complacent railway ticket collector Rakesh Trivedi aka Bunty in Bunty Aur Babli 2. “That was the point of the role — a middle-aged, slightly unhappy guy who has let himself go. Then, the character progresses to becoming fit, happy and adventurous. So, while prepping for the role, I let myself go in real-life too. Becoming overweight wasn’t difficult. I took it easy on the exercises and ate what I loved, but when it was time to knock off the excess weight, I became more serious about hitting the gym.”  

His excitement to breathe life into Bunty aided his transformation. Unlike co-star Rani Mukerji who is all too familiar with Babli, having played the role in the 2005 hit that spawned the franchise, Khan had to acquaint himself with the character and make it his own. “I was keen on playing a small-town hero. Earlier, romantic comedies with NRI, urban-centric characters were the trend. Today, heartland stories are [dominant].” 

The small-town setting wasn’t the only factor that drew him to the Varun V Sharma directorial venture. In the recent past, the actor has had more than his fill of grey, edgy roles. A lethargic former con artist was a perfect change of pace. “Rakesh is positive and nice, loyal to his wife, and a hero for the working man. Then, he gets a chance to have some fun again and gets renewed energy to lose weight, and have an adventure.”

The physical transformation aside, Khan says he also started prepping for the character at home, weeks before reporting to the set. “If you have the luxury, you can become that character at home without upsetting your family. You can slip into that zone physically and mentally. But before that, you have to figure out the layers to your role. For me though, the best homework is when I am in my costume.”

Also Read: 'Bunty Aur Babli 2': Rani and Saif on how they pulled off Abu Dhabi heist shoot

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