‘Made in China’ director Mikhil Musale is impressed with his lead star Rajkummar Rao’s physical transformation that required the actor to put on 8kg.

“I really don’t know how he did it. And that too in such a short time span. That’s his secret and that’s honestly the magic of a performer as incredible as Raj. I think he’s spoiled me for life as this was my first Hindi film and I was fortunate enough to work with possibly the most collaborative artist,” Musale said in a statement.

The director said that soon after Rao came on-board, he started preparing for the film, which included a recce of Ahmedabad, where the team was set to shoot.

“Raj and I had many conversations to solidify the space of Raghu Mehta’s world. Next thing I know, I get a call from him telling me that he is in Ahmedabad. And this was a month before the shoot,” the director said.

“He took a video camera and visited many busy areas of Ahmedabad from Lal Darwaja to Gandhi market to Manek Chowk and also a few places that lots of people don’t know about. He visited these places completely under the radar — going virtually unrecognisable. He spoke to local store owners, young people shopping in those areas and also ate food from the local places to sink his teeth into the colloquialism and the culture,” Rao said.

‘Made in China’ marks yet another collaboration between Rao and producer Dinesh Vijan.

The actor said: “‘Stree’ and ‘Made in China’ despite being completely different genres of cinema, needed a solid framework to put it out there effectively. I am so glad Dinoo made me a part of ‘Made in China’ and I got an opportunity to play such a wonderful character, Raghu.”

Vijan said the film is yet another step in his “strong and fruitful relationship” with the actor.

Also featuring Mouni Roy, Sumeet Vyas, Gajraj Rao and Paresh Rawal, ‘Made in China’ is scheduled to be released in India on Diwali (October 27).