Bollywood stars get real for the reel
Vidya Balan learnt dancing for “Bhool Bhulaiya”, John Abraham is learning to play the guitar for “Rock Star” and Madhavan starved himself for days to play the stressed-out working class commuter in “Dombivli Fast”.
“I had to feel what it means to skip meals, go hungry for a large part of the day to feel like my character,” Madhavan told IANS.
“In ‘Guru’, Abhishek Bachchan put on oodles of weight to play the businessman. I think authenticity is catching on in our cinema,” he added.
While “Chak De! India” features a bevy of actual female hockey players as part of ‘coach’ Shah Rukh Khan’s team, Vivek Agnihotri’s “Goal”, which opens later this year, features footballers from Bangladesh playing alongside John Abraham and Arshad Warsi.
“It was tough,” said John. “Fortunately, I’ve played football at the national level. So I could cope,” he added.
Arshad feels now actors can’t fake anything.
He said: “The era of specialised acting is upon Bollywood. Gone is the time when actors could fake it. Now you really have to know what you’re doing. Otherwise audiences would boo and shoo you.”
Shabana Azmi spent months learning Carnatic singing before doing Mahesh Dattani’s “Morning Raga”.
Her devotion paid rich dividends. An accomplished composer-singer like Shankar Mahadevan thinks her level of authenticity in “Morning Raga” is extraordinary.
Even a relative newcomer like Sammir Dattani pulled out all stops to play the 17-year-old government informer in Mani Shankar’s “Mukhbiir”.
“First of all I’m 25, but had to play a 17-year-old. Then I played a guy who changes his identity completely, including a new religion. I had to adopt a new lingo and body language. Then there were more fun things to do like learning to shoot a gun,” said Sammir.