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As Bengali movie fans struggle to find after actress Mishti Mukherjee’s tragic death due to renal failure, allegedly triggered by a keto diet, here’s a look at some of the actors who have pushed through pain and embarked on crazy diets for their career-defining films...
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Aamir Khan for ‘Dangal’: Top Bollywood star Aamir Khan, who is known to immerse himself in his films and roles, shed a whopping 27kg in five months. His dramatic fat-to-fit transformation had sceptics wondering if the then 51-year-old actor had used steroids to bulk up. But the actor denied such speculation when asked about it during a press junket in Dubai. “I am not judgmental about it [steroid use] as long as you are clear about it, know its side-effects and how it harms your body. Ultimately, it’s your body,” said Khan at that time.
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The actor — who played the tough dad grooming his two daughters to become professional wrestlers — even posted a transformation video chronicling his efforts to get that ripped body through all-natural means. Khan claimed that you can lose one pound [450gms] a week at a comfortable pace, but he lost up to four pounds a week by checking into a health resort in Arizona for three weeks. “I was training for eight hours and more. It was insane,” said Khan, who added that he trekked mountains, tried aqua aerobics, cycled and played tennis too. Even at his heaviest 97kg, he was training rigorously, revealed the actor. “I was eating junk and high-fat food. But even then I was working out as much. You couldn’t see my muscle under the layers of fat. But I knew I had to train heavy even when big because I knew I had to bulk up,” he added.
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Bhumi Pednekar for ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’: The Yash Raj Films discovery got a spectacular acting debut with the romantic comedy ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ in 2015. But there was a catch. The Bollywood newcomer had to gain at least 30kg to play an overweight bride who is trying hard to win the affections of her new, disgruntled husband (Ayushmann Khurrana). Back then, she was 25 years old and her weighing scale climbed from 66kg to 86kg. “I am a foodie and when I was asked to gain weight, I ate everything — not the smartest food choices. I was feasting on butter chicken for breakfast and eating 12-inch pizza for dinner. It was like being in Disneyland for eight months… pure pleasure,” said Pednekar in an earlier interview with Gulf News. For those wondering, all those extra pounds she gained for her debut role came off through a strict cycles of clean eating and rigorous work-outs.
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Kunal Kapoor for ‘Veeram’: As Bollywood actor Kunal Kapoor made a plunge into South Indian films with the warrior epic ‘Veeram’, he made sure that it was a memorable debut — both emotionally and physically. The actor was asked to bulk up without looking like he was a gym rat but an ancient, rough-looking warrior. National Award-winning director Jayaraj was particular that his lead hero didn’t aim for a gleaming torso and gym-perfect six-packs. “It took me five-and-a-half months to put on 12kg of lean muscle. I dropped 12 per cent of my body fat, and it was not easy, considering I have an uncontrollable sweet tooth,” said Kapoor in an interview with Hindustan Times. He claimed he went on a prolonged diet of fish, egg whites, chicken, broccoli, oats and sweet potatoes. “When I finished the film I never wanted to see these foods ever again,” he quipped. Apart from following that restrictive diet to bulk up, he learnt martial arts Kalaripayattu and spent at least four hours a day working out with kettle bells, flipping tyres, body weight exercises like push-ups and squats. He also threw in intense cardio.
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Priyanka Chopra for ‘Mary Kom’: She was on call to play a boxing champion and bring to life the real-life story of Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom. For that, Chopra had to get off her vertiginous stilettos, swap her designer gowns for gloves and a ripped arm. In the video posted about her transformation from fit to super fit, her trainer Samir Jaura revealed that he guided Chopra with functional and flexibility training. A diet followed by boxers rich in proteins and hydration was also prescribed for her. “Every diet was broken down and structured. It was a system real boxers would follow and junk food simply went out of the window … She never missed out on her workout,” said her trainer Jaura.
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Randeep Hooda for ‘Sarabjit’: The actor was asked to shed 18kg in 28 days for his role of an emaciated prisoner in the biopic ‘Sarabjit’. There were scenes in the film that required him to look like he had starved for days and that rats were scouring his body. On February 2016, the actor quipped about his dramatic whittling down of body weight by posting a before/after weight-loss pictures. He was 94kg when he began training for ‘Sarabjit’ and went down to 66kg through a rigorous diet. “From 94 kg of #DLKK [Do Lafzon Ki Kahani] to 66 kg for #Sarbjit.. It’s been a roller coaster ride in the same year .. Pls enjoy ur food :),” was a tweet posted by the actor next to two pictures that show him in contrast physical forms.
Image Credit: GN Archive
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Rajkummar Rao for ‘Trapped’ and more: The self-made actor, who came into the spotlight after his brilliant act in courtroom/terrorism thriller ‘Shahid’, is a powerhouse performer. But did you know he has undergone several physical transformation in his lean, but rich career. From sporting six-pack abs for ‘Behen Hogi Teri’ to losing weight dramatically to look starved in the survival thriller ‘Trapped’ and then back to gaining weight for biopic ‘Bose’, Rajkummar loves to re-invent himself. For sporting the look of a man who is trapped in an apartment for weeks together without food in a bustling Mumbai metropolis demanded that he survive on coffee and carrots. In an Instagram post, the actor is seen holding slim slices of carrots — indicating his stringent diet for the role.
Image Credit: Instagram