The actor has been enjoying the ‘golden period’ of his life as he binges on junk food and discontinues working out for his next
Sanyukta Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 5, 2017)

Known to slip into his onscreen avatars seamlessly, National Award-winning actor Rajkummar Rao had locked himself in a house for three weeks, living on a diet of carrots and black coffee, to lose eight kg for his turn as Shaurya in Vikramaditya Motwane’s survival-drama, Trapped. For Behen Hogi Teri, which followed Trapped, the 32-year-old actor tipped the scales on his normal weight with a scheduled workout plan and a diet rich in proteins and fibre.

Now, Mirror has learnt that he has put on another 11 kg for his pot-bellied, balding look for his portrayal as Subhash Chandra Bose in a series directed by Hansal Mehta.

Speaking to Mirror between shots, Rajkumar said, “For all my previous films — Citylights, Aligarh and of course Trapped— I’ve been asked to lose weight. So I was delighted when I was asked to gain weight. I have been binging on pizzas, Bengali sweets and junk food for the last one month and a half and will continue this routine till August. I stopped working out two months ago.” Hailing the prep as the “golden period” of his life, the actor says that he’s been eating everything he has craved but couldn’t because his directors wanted him in a certain look.

For his Netaji avatar, the makers tried to make the look work with prosthetics for the hairline and the waistline but it wasn’t what the actor wanted. Rajkummar then decided to work through an internal and external process for the part. “I decided that I wanted to see the character whenever I looked in a mirror and not Rajkummar. I even listened to Rabindrasangeet on the loop and read Bose’s unfinished autobiography to connect with the era. These helped me the most,” he says, adding that the series portrays him in several looks from Bose’s college days to when the freedom fighter founded the Indian National Army.