An actor prepares

Mainstream actors are going beyond routine cosmetic makeover while readying for a role.

It wasn’t just athlete Milkha Singh’s real persona that was revealed in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag . What came across was the striking methodical approach Farhan Akhtar took to get into the skin of the character.

Farhan’s rigorous 18- month long training took method acting in Bollywood to another level.

Fitness trainer Sameer Jaura made Farhan undergo tough training to acquire two distinct looks — a lean body as a new recruit in the Army and later as a tough, muscled athlete.

Besides the physical bit, Farhan also worked hard to acquire Milkha’s mannerism, Punjabi humour and chaste diction to complete his transformation into the Flying Sikh.

“ Would you believe it if I said I really got used to the beard and the long hair, so much so that it actually helped me think better as the character?” Farhan said around the time of release, stressing on how he lead the life of a sportsman — slept at 10 and woke up at 5 to work out.

Trainer Jaura is putting a similar effort on Priyanka Chopra as she gets ready to play Olympic medal winner Mary Kom in the biopic on the boxer directed by debutant Omung Kumar.

A leaked picture on the internet revealed prosthetic use on Priyanka’s part to acquire Mary’s distinct northeastern features. Producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali roped in American make- up artist Mark Garbarino to get the facial look right while Jaura is ensuring Chopra’s physicality matches up to a professional boxer’s. To get a feel of Mary’s life and upbringing, Priyanka even visited the boxer’s hometown Imphal and met her family.

Bollywood actors have finally decided to go an extra mile to get into the skin of the characters they play. Gone are the days when preparing for a role meant acquiring six- pack abs or getting into a size- zero frame. Instead of making use of loud make- up, garish wigs or a fake look, which made characters look like caricatures at times, actors are transforming their bodies, faces and minds into the characters they play.

Vidya Balan doesn’t mind playing with her weight for her films.

She added 12 kilos for her role as the southern seductress Silk in The Dirty Picture , and continued with her huge frame and took Punjabi diction lessons to play a Punjabi housewife in Rajkumar Ghanchakkar . She has now lost around 10 kilos to play the urban housewife in Shaadi Ke Side Effects . “ I don’t mind travelling that extra bit to enter the life of a different person. I transport myself to an extent that I allow my body, my clothes and even my mind to change as the character,” said Vidya.

In the past, Salman Khan, Manisha Koirala, Nana Patekar and Seema Biswas took extensive lessons in sign language for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Khamoshi: The Musical . Aamir Khan, who is said to be the most methodical actor around, spent two years in long hair and flowing moustache to play Mangal Pandey in Ketan Mehta’s Mangal Pandey: The Rising . His trainer Satyajit Chaurasia got him six packs abs for Ghajini . He has now acquired a lean athletic look for his role of an acrobatic thief in Dhoom 3 .

Gone are the days when preparing for a role meant acquiring six- pack abs or getting into a size- zero frame.

KAREENA KAPOOR plays an international journalist in SATYAGRAHA

KAREENA plays the international reporter Yasmeen, through whose eyes the story of a middle- class uprising against corruption in India unfolds in the Prakash Jha film. The role is said to be broadly based on CNN news anchor Christiane Amanpour.

Although Kareena calls herself a spontaneous actress, she drew references from the journalists she meets in her daily life. Known as a style diva, Kareena plans to underplay her character and will be seen in a de- glam role to look like a political reporter. She will also promote the film in her de- glam avatar.

KARAN JOHAR makes his debut as the villain in BOMBAY VELVET

KARAN makes his debut as a villain in Anurag Kashyap’s retro romantic thriller Bombay Velvet, starring Ranbir Kapoor.

The filmmaker has shed 12 kilos for his acting debut as a rich businessman with sinister plans. Karan may have always worked behind the camera but is undergoing a serious workout regime under the guidance of trainer Kris Gethin, who also trains Hrithik Roshan. Since the film is set in the seventies, Karan will work to acquire a distinct body language and retro wardrobe to play a perfect business tycoon of that era.

FARHAN AKHTAR plays Milkha Singh in BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG

FARHAN knew methodical preparation was important to play Milkha Singh. He underwent 18 months of rigorous workout. Besides growing his beard and hair, he followed the disciplined lifestyle of a sportsperson. For the Punjabi diction spoken during pre- Partition era, he took lessons from writer- poet Gulzaar. Farhan honed his Urdu from father Javed Akhtar.

Initially, Farhan was around 66 kilos and in four months he gained around nine kilos. Fitness trainer Sameer Jaura changed his workout schedule every 15 days so that his body did not get accustomed to any particular workout. He had to shed 15 kilos to shoot for the portions as a new Army recruit.

Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.