Getting into a character that is different from an actor’s personality takes effort. A lot of movies ask the actors to step into a physically and emotionally difficult place, which is part of the process. While these performances are brilliant on screen, they also impact the people who play these roles. And, it’s not always easy.
These actors spoke of the emotional and physical exhaustion caused by having played a role.
1. Ranveer Singh
He played historical conqueror Alauddin Khilji in Sanjay Leela Bhansali Padmaavat. As we know and have seen, the character was not easy to portray which is why he cost Ranveer Singh dearly while preparing for the role. Apparently, he would lock himself in his apartment, to explore the negativity of the anti-hero. It also led to some off-screen behavior changes, for which he started seeing a therapist.
2. Randeep Hooda
For his role in sarabjit, the actor had to lose a lot of weight and muscle, which forced 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 sometimes he was so hungry he couldn’t sleep. According to him, it was a dark time even off-screen.
I have to keep telling myself, ‘Look, you didn’t go through 23 years of your life in prison, you didn’t go through all that hardship, you didn’t go through solitary confinement’.
3. Alia Bhatt
While Alia Bhatt has received immense appreciation for her acting in Gangubai Kathiawadi, the movie had a lot of emotionally and physically draining moments even to watch. In a recent episode of Coffee with Karanshe talked about her overall experience working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali and the energy it took to get into character.
I was so physically exhausted. I called Ranveer and said, “how do you think you’ll be able to do this?”
4. Anouchka Sharma
Anushka Sharma talked about a particular scene in NH10 where his character had to deal with physical abuse. It was really sensitive and quite graphic, but the actor also added how playing a character in that scene impacted his mental health.
Getting punched and kicked in the stomach and all that, I was just thinking about how humans can be like that. We are not exposed to so many things in life other than reading newspapers. But shooting such scenes is extremely traumatic.
5. Nawazuddin Siddiqui
He is known for his brilliant skills which are also unique. And while we were deeply impressed by his portrayal of a serial killer in Raman Raghav 2.0, it had a scarring impact on him. For the film, Nawazuddin Siddiqui opted for an acting method to understand his character, which led to mental health issues.
Somehow I couldn’t tell what’s right and what’s wrong. Those lines in my life have faded. It happens that the film is over, but it still remains alive in your life.
6. Sanya Malhotra and Fatima Sana Shaikh
In an episode of Coffee with Karan while promoting Dangal, the two actors talked about learning wrestling for their characters. Since it was their debut and the characters required a lot of physical training, they had to deal with injuries and even broken bones. They also added that the two wouldn’t talk about it with people, thinking they would be left out of the movie.
7. Varun Dhawan
Badlapur was a different movie for Varun Dhawan, and his performance was groundbreaking. But, the actor has spoken about the dark character and its impact on his personality, on several occasions. He mentioned how it was an emotional experience to do something unique, but also an experience that affected his mental health.
I suffered a lot while making this film. I can’t say that I enjoyed making the film.
– Varun Dhawan
8. Nimrat Kaour
Nimrat had to gain weight for his role in Dasvi, and it required more than just a change in diet. She shared an Instagram Publish this highlighted his journey of gaining weight and then losing it all back to his “original” body type. Here, she also mentioned how people commented on her body or her food choices, which made her realize how hard it is to enjoy being yourself.
Some people around me felt they had a right to comment on what they thought I was doing wrong. It would be a sarcastic remark, an inappropriate joke or simply unsolicited advice.
9. Priyanka Chopra
To play boxer in Mary KomPriyanka Chopra had to undergo intensive training, which also led to a change in body structure. She had to learn boxing, which was an added pressure, especially since the actor hadn’t played any sports before. Also, needing to get rid of muscle immediately after the movie was just as much of a chore.
10. Rajkummar Rao
The actor took intense dietary preparation for its role in Trap. He played a trauma survivor who was trapped in a skyscraper with no food, water or power, and it was important to make the emotional turmoil evident on screen. As a result, the actor even consumed meat for one scene (despite being a vegetarian).
We realized that for a vegetarian like me, the emotions and difficulty biting into meat would only come to the fore once I did.
It takes a lot more than learning lines.