Mumbai, March 27 -- Staying in shape is something all Bollywood actors take seriously. But not many have gone the extra mile to put on or lose a significant amount of weight for their roles.
A great example of the latter is Aamir Khan, who has played an array of roles that have required him to resemble people of all ages and sizes. He has lost weight to play a college student in 3 Idiots (2009), and gained it for his characters in Ghajini (2008) and Dhoom: 3 (2013). In the latest instance, he is piling on the pounds to play a wrestler in his upcoming film. The same role requires him to lose all that weight after the initial portions have been shot.
Aamir isn't the only one who has undergone a physical transformation for a film role. Last year, Priyanka Chopra underwent strenuous training to get in shape to play Mary Kom in a film named after the boxer. "She worked hard to get a boxer's body for the role, and if Aamir is playing a wrestler, he should look like one too. It helps the audience connect with the character," says the film's director, Omung Kumar, adding, "Many actors develop six-pack abs to look good on screen, but bodily transformation to justify a role is of far more importance. It leads the audience to forget the actor and only see the role they play."
Akshaye Rathi, film exhibitor, seconds Omung's opinion. He believes that the necessity for such transformations has risen due to the surge of biopics being made. "Many actors are playing real-life characters these days, and physical resemblance lends authenticity and helps develop interest among viewers."