‘Look­ing at my tummy felt good’

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - Time Out - Monika Rawal Kukreja monika.rawal@htlive.com

After hav­ing sur­vived cut­throat com­pe­ti­tion in Bol­ly­wood, ac­tor Ra­jkum­mar Rao is now rais­ing the bar with each per­for­mance. The ac­tor is next set to fea­ture in the web se­ries Bose, be­ing di­rected by Hansal Me­hta.

A while ago, Ra­jkum­mar shared a pic­ture on so­cial me­dia show­ing how he went from sport­ing six-pack abs for Be­hen Hogi Teri, to going anorexic for Trapped, and gain­ing weight for Bose.

Re­spond­ing to what makes him ex­per­i­ment in such dras­tic ways, the 33-year-old says it’s his job as an ac­tor. “I want to push the en­ve­lope and noth­ing else. If my char­ac­ter de­mands me to lose or gain weight, I just do it. That’s what I ex­pect from my­self and peo­ple ex­pect from me and I’ve been do­ing that,” he says.

Be­sides gain­ing 11 kgs to play Sub­has Chan­dra Bose, the ac­tor also shaved half his head. “I’m not do­ing some­thing ex­tra­or­di­nary. It’s all part of the job and noth­ing ex­tra. When I used to look at my­self in the mir­ror and see my head shaved half and that tummy, I felt good. As an ac­tor, it helps in­ter­nalise the drive be­cause I don’t see my real self in the mir­ror but my char­ac­ter,” says the ac­tor.

Ra­jkum­mar, though, ad­mits that things weren’t easy. “It took me around a month and a half to put on 11 kgs for the role of Bose. I’ve al­ways been very fit in all my films, and per­son­ally also, I be­lieve in fit­ness. But, after putting on weight, you start feel­ing lethar­gic. I didn’t feel like my­self in that body,” adds Ra­jkum­mar, who has played di­verse char­ac­ters such as Lord Shiva in Be­hen Hogi Teri, a 324-year-old man in Raabta and a trans­gen­der in Aami Saira Bano.

And what was the next goal that mo­ti­vated him to shed all those ex­tra ki­los? The ac­tor quips, “I had to lose it, as I couldn’t be like this for­ever. My rea­son was the fact that I like to be fit.”

PHOTO: MANOJ VERMA/HT

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