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"Our industry is very biased towards the star system"

Ranvir Shorey in conversation with Jigar Shah…

Your next film is Fatso, where you literally play a fatso. Is that padding or have you actually gained weight?

While we were preparing for the film, we realised that we could get the fat look only on my stomach and chest but not for my arms, neck and face.  We didn’t want this lopsided look and since the budget didn’t allow for prosthetics, I had to put on weight.

So the money that could have bought prosthetics was invested in a diet to fatten you?

All the bills to make me fat were paid by Warner Brothers. While I was shooting with them for Chandni Chowk To China, I would wake up every morning and drink beer and instead of a normal breakfast, I would eat rice, potatoes, ice-creams, five times a day. I was enjoying this till I turned 80 kilos. After that, no matter how much I ate, I wouldn’t put on any more weight. I realised that every body has certain limitations to putting on weight. At 80 kilos, I was getting panic attacks as the due date for Fatso was approaching and I was not gaining any more weight. Adding the last 10 kilos was hell!

How did you lose all that weight later?

After the movie was shot, I joined Kalaripayattu (a south Indian martial art form) and I also did yoga. But I still have a kilo or two to be shed. If you ask me which was more fun, I would say losing weight was more fun as I like to sweat it out. But I have decided never to do it again, not even if Francis Ford Coppola were to offer me a role in exchange for putting on 25 kilos!

What is your character all about?

The film is basically about three guys, including me, who like the same girl. One of them dies and his soul enters my body. How this changes each one’s life forms the rest of the story.

You are reluctant to work with big banners…

Our industry is very biased towards the star system and its derivatives like star sons or star nephews. There are so many other talented people who get few roles or are not approached for work at all.

You are working with Yash Raj…

Ek Tha Tiger is my second film with them but they haven’t offered me a lead role. Only independent filmmakers like Saurabh Shukla and Rajat Kapoor have showed faith in me and have given me lead roles. I am not complaining but simply stating a fact when asked why I am I not seen in more meaty roles and in big productions.

Fatso was delayed. How does it impact an actor when a film is delayed?

I can’t speak for other actors but I feel very frustrated and irritated. But struggling has always been a part of my life. But why only me? It seems like a given that every film I do has to wait three years before it releases.

You became a father a year ago. How has it changed you?

Fatherhood has changed me a lot. I don’t think I changed so much in the last 38 years as much as I did in my 39th year, thanks to my son. I love spending all my free time with him. He is great fun to be with. I’m a chilled out daddy…

What is Konkana (Sen Sharma) like as a mother?

She is a very good mother. There is a no-nonsense tag attached to her work and it’s the same as a mother. She wants to do everything to perfection, which is very good.

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