Actor Vicky Kaushal, who has built a muscular physique for a new film, believes physical transformation among actors has become more performance-oriented than for vanity purposes.
In the last few years, Bollywood cine-goers have seen actors placing an emphasis on their physical transformation whether it is superstar Aamir Khan gaining weight for DANGAL or National Award-winning actor Rajkummar Rao losing weight for TRAPPED and then growing a paunch for the web series BOSE: DEAD/ALIVE, or even Ranveer Singh bulking up to play Sultan Alauddin Khilji in PADMAAVAT.
"I think physical transformation is a part of the performance now for an actor. And I see no wrong in that. Gone are those days when a mainstream Bollywood hero will build up a physique only to look good. Perhaps that is why I lost eight kg for my film MASAAN and Aamir Khan gained weight for playing an aged father in DANGAL.
"I think that is the good part of these changing times in our cinema, where everything is happening based on the requirement of the story and not just for vanity," Vicky told IANS here.
The actor has a promising year in store. His first romantic comedy LOVE PER SQUARE FOOT released worldwide on Valentine's Day on Netflix. His Meghna Gulzar directorial RAAZI is ready to release in summer and then he has an Aanand L. Rai movie and Ronnie Screwvala's production URI.
Giving an insight into the physical training he is undergoing for URI, he said: " URI will hopefully go on floors after MANMARZIYAN, where I am playing a commando who is leading a surgical attack. So, the requirement (of the physique) is such."
In LOVE PER SQUARE FOOT, a Netflix original film, Vicky plays a Mumbai boy Sanjay who is searching for his own space in the over-crowded city. It tells the story of how he teams up with a girl and they try getting a house as a couple. Later, they fall in love and face family conflict to get married.
What made him sign the film?
"Well, more than how different the story is, what worked for me was it is close to real nature and is relatable. Two youngsters are struggling to find a space -- a house for privacy in a city like Mumbai -- is a story that we have seen around us often. But as an audience, I have not watched a film based on that.
"So when the film came to me, I instantly loved the story. There was no second thought about it," he said.
According to Vicky, the struggle for finding a house in a crowded city is quite a universal topic and one that people across the globe will relate to.
"Any country with high population faces the housing problem and space issues. Middle-class people are facing housing problems. Therefore, I think releasing the film on Netflix will not only reach Indians living outside our country but also a global population that can relate to the story," he said.
The movie, produced under Screwvala's home banner RSVP Productions, has taken the non-traditional route of releasing on a digital platform rather than in theatres.
Asked how he feels about the new platform, Vicky said: "I think Netflix is one of the popular platforms now where every second person is watching some show or the other. And most of the Hindi films are getting released on Netflix even after their theatrical release. So, yes, I think it is a great way to reach out to 160 countries with a Hindi language film at the same time."
Directed by Anand Tiwari, LOVE PER SQUARE FOOT also features Angira Dhar, Ratna Pathak Shah, Supriya Pathak, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Raghubir Yadav and Arunoday Singh.
[By Arundhuti Banerjee]