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‘Aadujeevitham’ actor KR Gokul on his transformation: ‘Collapsed on day 3 of water diet, no bath for 15 days’ I Exclusive 

Updated on: 15 April,2024 11:00 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Athulya Nambiar |

KR Gokul played the role of Hakeem in Blessy's directorial 'Aadujeevitham'. He was just 18 when he began shoot and underwent drastic transformation like lead actor Prithviraj

‘Aadujeevitham’ actor KR Gokul on his transformation: ‘Collapsed on day 3 of water diet, no bath for 15 days’ I Exclusive 

KR Gokul

Blessy directorial ‘Aadujeevitham’ hit the big screens on March 28 after being in the making for almost 16 years. Starring Prithviraj as the protagonist, the film is adapted from the book of the same name authored by Benyamin. For those unaware, the film is based on the life of Kerala man Najeeb who becomes a slave looking after goats in the middle of the vast deserts of the Middle East. He arrives in the Middle Eastern country with hopes of a better job that will take him and his family out of a life of poverty. But what ensued was a life trapped in the desert struggling for necessities and craving the taste of freedom and home.

While much has been said about Prithviraj’s tremendous transformation, to portray the role of Najeeb, actor KR Gokul too underwent a drastic physical transformation to play Hakeem, who, like Najeeb, was trapped in slavery in the desert. 

Actor KR Gokul joined the team of Aadujeevitham as an 18-year-old newcomer. Today, he is 24. Grinning from ear to ear witnessing the success of the film, Gokul tells, "It's been overwhelming. I am flooded with calls and texts. Whenever I go out, people come and hug me.  They were all relieved to see me after what I did in the film.”

The very day after wrapping the audition for the film, Gokul got down to reading the book by Benyamin. He read it over and over to better understand his character and the hidden details and nuances of the situation and the plight of the people involved. “I've read it a lot of times and the first time I'm reading it, for me, I've read it around like in five hours or something,  and I couldn't stop reading it. Yeah, I've read it in a full stretch. In the middle, my mom called me to do some household chores, but in my mind, I was thinking about Hakeem, Najeeb and Ibrahim Khadri while I was doing the chores."

Becoming Hakeem: 

Like Prithviraj Sukumaran, KR Gokul also had to undergo extreme weight loss to look the part of Hakeem, a man who gets trapped into slavery in the desert for years. Talking about his process of getting the look right, Gokul shared, “I  had to cut my calories. Four months prior to the shoot I was consuming 1500 calories, in the second month it was 1000 and then in the third month, it was 500.”

Despite the calorie deficit, he had flesh on his cheek and the director and make-up artist asked him to push his limits. “I did water dieting. I consumed only water and black coffee for the last 15 days. And on the third day of the water diet, I collapsed. I fainted.”

"So I had to change something because I had to be alive to do that role, right?" he said. 

"I changed it a little bit. I consumed Robusta shake in the morning. Hakeem must have eaten kuboos (Arabian bread) with water. So I experimented with what he must have eaten at that time. And I ate only one kuboos with water," shared Gokul.

Apart from the diet, Gokul also wanted to feel like a person living in the desert with struggles of bare necessities. "I did not bathe for 15 days during the shoot to feel how he must have felt. So, that kind of emotional memories helped me a lot too."

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