Getting into a character that’s different from an actor’s personality takes effort. A lot of films require actors to get into a difficult place physically and emotionally, which is a part of the process. While these performances look brilliant on-screen, they also impact the people playing those parts. And, it’s not always easy.
These actors talked about the emotional and physical exhaustion that was caused due to getting into a role.
1. Ranveer Singh
He played the historic conqueror Alauddin Khilji in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat. As we know and saw, the character wasn’t an easy one to portray, which is why it took quite a toll on Ranveer Singh, while prepping for the role. Reportedly, he would lock himself up in his apartment, to explore the negativity in the anti-hero. This also resulted in behavioral changes off-screen, for which he started seeing a therapist.
2. Randeep Hooda
For his role in Sarabjit, the actor had to shed a lot of weight and muscle which required him to follow a strict diet. He mentioned how the lack of sugar in his diet led to a drastic change in his mood, and how at times, he would be so hungry that he couldn’t sleep. According to him, it was a gloomy time even off-screen.
I have to keep telling myself, that ‘look, you did not go through 23 years of your life in prison, you did not go through all that hardship, you did not go through solitary confinement.
3. Alia Bhatt
While Alia Bhatt received immense appreciation for her acting in Gangubai Kathiawadi, the film had a lot of moments that were emotionally and physically exhausting, even to watch. In a recent episode of Koffee With Karan, she talked about her overall experience of working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali and the energy that it took, getting into character.
I was so physically exhausted. I called Ranveer and said, “how do you tell yourself that you’ll be able to do it?”
4. Anushka Sharma
Anushka Sharma talked about a particular scene in NH10 where her character had to deal with physical abuse. It was definitely sensitive and quite graphic, but the actor also added how playing a character in that scene took a toll on her mental health.
Being punched, kicked in stomach and all that, I was just thinking how humans can be this way. We aren’t exposed to so much in life other than reading in newspaper. But to shoot such scenes is extremely traumatizing.
5. Nawazuddin Siddiqui
He’s known for his brilliant skills that are also unique. And while we were deeply impressed with his portrayal of a serial killer in Raman Raghav 2.0, it had a scarring impact on him. For the film, Nawazuddin Siddiqui opted method acting to understand his character which resulted in mental health issues.
Somewhere I could not tell what is right and what is wrong. Those lines in my life got blurred. It happens that the film gets completed, but it still remains alive in your life.
6. Sanya Malhotra & Fatima Sana Shaikh
In an episode of Koffee With Karan while promoting Dangal, both the actors talked about learning wrestling for their characters. Since it was their debut, and the characters required a lot of physical training, they dealt with injuries and even fractures. They also added how the two wouldn’t talk about it with people, thinking that they’d be dropped from the film.
7. Varun Dhawan
Badlapur was a different film for Varun Dhawan, and his performance was ground-breaking. But, the actor has talked about the dark character and its impact on his personality, at multiple occasions. He mentioned how it was an emotional experience to do something unique, but also one that affected his mental health.
I suffered a lot while doing this film. I can’t say that I enjoyed doing the film.
8. Nimrat Kaur
Nimrat had to put on weight for her role in Dasvi, and it required more than just a change in diet. She shared an Instagram post that highlighted her journey of gaining weight and then losing it all to go back to her ‘original’ body type. Here, she also mentioned how people would comment on her body or her food choices which made her realise how difficult it is to enjoy being oneself.
Some people around me felt they had the right to comment on what they thought I was doing wrong. It would be a snide remark, an uncalled for joke or simply an unsolicited piece of advice.
9. Priyanka Chopra
For playing the boxer in Mary Kom, Priyanka Chopra had to undergo hard training, which also resulted in a changed body structure. She had to learn boxing which was an added pressure, specifically because the actor hadn’t played any sports before. Additionally, needing to shed the muscles immediately after the film was just as much a task.
10. Rajkummar Rao
The actor took intense dietary preparation for his role in Trapped. He was playing a trauma survivor who was trapped in a high-rise without food, water or electricity, and it was important to make the emotional turmoil evident on-screen. As a result, the actor even consumed meat for a scene (despite being a vegetarian).
We realised that for a vegetarian like me, the emotions and the difficulty to dig my teeth into meat would only come to the forefront once I actually did it.
It takes a lot more than learning lines.