Fit & Famous
Man of the moment Ranbir Kapoor gets candid about his amazing body transformation; livin’ ‘n’ breathin’ movies; controlling his drinking habit and more... In a fun and straight-fromthe-heart interview with ‘H&N’.
Superstar Ranbir Kapoor on his amazing fitness transformation
Ranbir Kapoor, Gen Next of the first family of films in Bollywood, was born with the gift to entertain! He made his mark right from his first movie, and continues to enthral audiences with his versatility even after 11 years. And hits or flops, Ranbir is always remembered for the characters he portrays on screen. My interview with Ranbir was scheduled on the sets of ‘Sanju’, where Ranbir, Sanjay Dutt, Dia Mirza, choreographer Ganesh Acharya, director Rajkumar Hirani, producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra, the whole team was shooting a promotional song for the movie. The interview was carried out in the midst of the shoot with Ranbir going back to give his shot every 10 minutes. Looking as dapper as ever, he came across as pretty friendly and warm. I began by wishing him luck and telling him that by the time our magazine hits the stands, ‘Sanju’ would have already released, and seeing the hype and excitement among viewers post the trailer release, the film would surely be a hit.
“It was a big task for me to look like Sanjay Dutt in the movie – from the way he looks, to adopt his mannerisms, hairstyle, body language, everything.”
“I hope what you are saying comes true and the movie is a big hit, as we have made this movie with lots of love and respect for Sanju Sir,” he says. So how was the experience of portraying someone on screen who is still so relatable to the audience? “I had the same view when Raju Sir told me that he is planning to make a biopic on Sanjay Dutt! I asked him this exact question. How will you make a movie on an actor’s life who is still so relevant and popular among the audience? But when he (Raju Hirani) read the story to me, I was convinced… It’s a must-share for the audience, who will get to see all his sides, and learn from the mistakes he has made in his life. “When I understood the story and the work that went into the making of the movie, I was so impressed that I decided to put my soul in its preparation.”
PREPARING FOR THE ROLE
From using prosthetics to gaining muscles and now losing them again for his upcoming movie ‘Brahmastra’, Ranbir has gone through drastic changes for ‘Sanju’. And he did it all in the span of one year before the shoot began… “It was a big task for me to look like Sanjay Dutt in the movie – from the way he looks, to adopt his mannerisms, hairstyle, body language, everything. And because he is so relevant even today, it was harder for me because I knew comparisons would happen. “I also knew that it’s impossible to be an exact copy. Plus, I didn’t want to copy him 100% because it would have looked very odd on screen. I had to manage that perfect balance.”
“But I must admit that looking like the character was a crazy transformation. I was eating eight meals in a day and was waking up at three in the morning to have my protein
“I was eating eight meals in a day, and was waking up at three in the morning to have my protein shakes. I was working out for two hours daily.”
shakes. I was working out for two hours daily. “I have always been a skinny guy, so to gain muscles is a tough call for me, but I can lose weight fast though. For ‘Sanju’, I didn’t have to look just muscular; as the muscular part comes later in the movie when he is older. The movie captures Sanju from the age of 20 till 60 years old so I had to go for an entire body transformation, from lean to muscular. “I trained under fitness trainer Kunal Gir who helped me get into this shape. We trained in reverse, first for big muscles, and then, I started losing them as the film progressed. “My workouts were very well planned by Kunal. My shoot schedule was planned keeping in mind my workout timings. Though I did lots of heavy weights, the workout part was still easy. The diet was pretty hard. And because I am a big foodie by nature, to control my diet was difficult!
Ranbir Kapoor is a mama’s boy is a known fact. The actor, who has always been open about his close bond with his mother Neetu Kapoor, says that being healthy is also something he has imbibed from her… “Staying healthy is something I adapt from my mother, be it the importance of fruits, vegetables and a healthy diet or good sleep. She is so particular about it all, and always encourages both my sister and me to follow a healthy lifestyle. And now, as I am growing older, I understand the value of health, nutrition and well-being even more.” So on a normal day what does his fitness schedule look like? “My fitness schedule keeps changing from character to character; it always depends on the film I am doing. In certain films, I have to look very thin, like in ‘Jagga Jasoos’, I was a school student so I had to lose a lot of weight and look really thin. So while shooting for that movie, I did a lot of cardio.
“Though I did lots of heavy weights, the workout part was still easy. The diet was pretty hard. And big because I am a foodie by nature, to control my diet was difficult!”
“Now I am doing a film called ‘Brahmastra’, for which I need to look lean, not muscular like in ‘Sanju’. “Also, we have a lot of ‘free days’ between shoots, and so my workout keeps changing but never stops. My diet and workouts are constant, and cheat days are rare too. Life has to be disciplined in this field. “Sometimes, even after shooting for 14 hours, I still have to hit the gym for one to two hours. I am lucky as I have a gym in my building itself so it saves my travel time.”
DRINKING & WELL-BEING
Often, actors like to keep their personal lives guarded and showcase only their ‘perfect lives’ in front of the media. But Ranbir, without any hesitation, talks about his shortcomings, and how he plans to tackle them. “I don’t have a drinking addiction but yes I have a tendency to drink a lot. When I start, I don’t stop. I guess it’s in my blood; you know how my
“Staying healthy is something I adapt from my so mother. She is particular about it, and always encourages both my sister and me to follow a healthy lifestyle.”
family is (starts laughing)… They are all very fond of alcohol. So, yes, it’s in my genes to drink.” And on that very honest note, Ranbir ran for his next shot… Back after the perfect take… “But I don’t think drinking has ever caused a problem for me in building my muscles. And frankly, I am not that passionate about building abs or muscles. But it’s an occupational hazard today. I just like to be fit by playing a sport. “Also, I believe in having the body of the character I am in, and not a ‘hero’s body’. Having said that, it’s very important
“I have my own football team in Mumbai City Football Club and I am a player myself. I love playing football, and try and play at least twice a week.”
to understand that alcohol is one of the worst things in the world. When I am working, I never drink. But once I have a lot of free time, I start hanging out with my friends and tend to drink and smoke. It is a habit and I am trying to stay away from it as much as possible. And I am improving too.”
Be it getting into the character he is playing or facing the paparazzi, being a Bollywood star takes a toll on one’s mental as well as physical health. We asked him how he handles the mental pressures of being a star, where you are continuously surrounded by rumours, gossips that fake news… “I have been a very detached person since birth, and that has helped me a lot in my line of work because I never get too attached to anything or anyone. I am away from social media, and have my own life which is very private. I understand that there are things constantly written about me, some good and some bad. But what’s honest is the work you do, which I feel is out there for people to judge, and nothing else. “I also believe that being physically fit keeps you mentally healthy too, and for that I play a lot of football. I feel learning a sport and being passionate about it is always on the top of my list.”
“I don’t have a drinking addiction but yes I have a tendency to drink a lot. When I start, I I don’t stop. But am improving.”
FOOTBALL, TRAVEL & MORE MOVIES…
“I have my own football team in Mumbai City Football Club and I am a player myself. I love playing football, and try and play at least twice a week. “I want to travel too, and currently, I am trying to make a weekend house somewhere near Mumbai. “But all that apart, movies are in the forefront of everything for me right now. I am still learning, and nervous before every shot. And I am always like this because I know the day I get content or cocksure about myself, I will have a really big fall.”
On the sets of ‘Sanju’ with director Rajkumar Hirani
With trainer Kunal Gir
With mom Neetu Kapoor