Aamir Khan In Ghajini To Farhan Akhtar In Bhaag Milkha Bhaag: 6 Best Body Transformations In Bollywood

Acting is just one part of an actor’s job. Apart from getting the accent, body language and mannerisms right, they have to also look like the character. This may seem like no big deal, given the access to style and make-up professionals and if that doesn’t help, VFX and animations. However, these are only a plus point to an actor undergoing a real physical transformation. Actually working on the appearance is always better than relying on these post-production editing techniques.

Having said that, not all actors are willing to put in that kind of effort. Take Bollywood as an example. There are only a few actors who go the extra mile to look good on screen. They understand that cinema is a visual medium of communication and that their aesthetic is as important as their acting skills. They have trained hard to bulk up their body, followed a strict diet plan and improved their sleep cycle to achieve a chiseled physique. AskMen India gives six such actors a shoutout:

Aamir Khan in Ghajini

A Hindi remake of a hit Tamil film of the same name, Ghajini starred Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan in the lead. His character’s arc was unlike anything we had ever seen. In the first half, he played the sweet and suave Sanjay Singhania, who’s the founder of AirVoice company. However, the murder of his girlfriend Kalpana, played by Asin, at the hands of the eponymous villain turns him into a vengeful man with short term memory loss. This transformation required the actor to bulk up his body. It took him 13 months to achieve those eight packs. He worked out for three hours six days a week and had portion-sized meals with high protein spread across the day. This was complemented with

Farhan Akhtar in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

Farhan Akhtar was a splitting image of Milkha Singh in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. He did complete justice to the character and convinced audiences that no one deserved to play this role more than him. Apart from impersonating his accent and style of sprinting, he trained hard to look like the legendary athlete. The scene in the film in which he flaunts his shredded six-pack abs left everyone awestruck. For six months at a stretch, he worked out for four to five hours in a day and followed a strict diet to attain that physique. His regime was a combination of running practice, functional movements and weightlifting. He also travelled to Ladakh to experience running at a high altitude.

Vicky Kaushal in Uri: The Surgical Strike

When Vicky Kaushal made his Bollywood debut in Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan, he was a lean and lanky boy who garnered attention purely on the basis of his acting talent. After the success of the film, many offers came his way and soon, transformed into a star. His style evolved from simple to stunning. He started working on his body and is now considered one of the most desirable men in the country. The biggest testament to his hard work is his performance in the war drama film, Uri: The Surgical Strike. He played the character of Major Vihaan Singh Shergill, an Indian army officer who sets out to avenge the murder of his brother and other countrymen who were attacked without warning at the border. Vicky had to gain 15 kilograms for this role, which was achieved by eating, exercising and getting more sleep than usual.

R. Madhavan in Saala Khadoos

R. Madhavan is known for playing chocolate boy characters in Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein, Rang De Basanti and 3 Idiots. But his performance in the sports drama Saala Khadoos proved that his acting range is wider than we thought it to be. He played a retired boxer in the film, who sets out to find raw talent in a small precinct of the country. He comes across a hot-blooded fisherwoman and turns her into a champion. This character required him to bulk up his body. He achieved those big biceps and chiseled chest by following a simple vegetarian diet and being particular about his meal quantities and timings. His workout included strenuous core exercises, resistance training, weightlifting and of course, many hours of boxing.

Shahrukh Khan in Om Shanti Om

Among the first major body transformations in Bollywood was that of Shahrukh Khan in Om Shanti Om. The actor had a double role in the film – one of a small-time actor who’s struggling to make it big, and the other, of a superstar who has crowds gathering outside his mansion just to get a glimpse of him. The latter required him to look suave and sexy. This meant having a chiseled physique that people swoon over. The actor attained six-pack abs with the assistance of his trainer, Prashant Sawant. He did this in merely three months, by having a strict, healthy diet and exercising daily. Considering his hectic schedule, he would be on sets all day long and then head to the gym post midnight.

Shahid Kapoor in Kaminey

Shahid Kapoor was a professional dancer in Shiamak Davar’s troupe before he made his Bollywood debut in Ishq Vishq. His earlier films had him playing chocolate boy characters. But it was only when Vishal Bhardwaj offered him Kaminey that his acting range was brought to everyone’s notice. He had a double role in the film – one, of a man with a lisp and the other, his brother with a stutter. He made a shirtless entry racing against white horses, which required him to have the physique of an athlete. The actor attained this by following a stringent exercise regimen and vegetarian diet plan for close to a year.

Kudos to these actors for going the extra mile!

Cover artwork by Dhaval Punatar/AskMen India

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