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From Aamir Khan to Vidya Balan: 7 times actors transformed their body


Aamir Khan's recent transformation from fat to fit for Dangal has gone viral on the internet. However, the actor is not the first, nor the only actor, to have undergone such a serious physical transformation for the role. Here's a list of the others who gained/lost weight to enhance their portrayals on screen. 

Shriram Iyengar

The dedication of Aamir Khan to gain weight, and then lose it, for his portrayal of Mahavir Phogat in Dangal has created quite a stir. It has also raised questions about the logic behind putting the body through such strain for a film. The video shows Khan going through a miraculous transformation from the fat middle-aged man to the fit young wrestler of the past. 

This is not the first time the actor has put himself through a physical transformation for a role. In 2008, Khan built up an astonishingly sculpted physique for AR Murugadoss' Ghajini. Since then, several actors have gone through the rigorous process of shaping their body to suit a character in cinema. Here's a pick of the best. 

1. Aamir Khan in Ghajini(2008) 
We start with the 'Mr Perfectionist' of Hindi cinema. Playing a vengeful victim with short term memory loss, Khan built up a sculpted physique to suit his action hero role in Murugadoss' film. It earned him plaudits and established his presence as one of the more dedicated actors in the industry. Building the physique was definitely not easy. By Khan's admission, "During Ghajini, I was eating every half hour!" If that was not enough, the actor shed the pounds and the muscle to play a college boy in Rajkumar Hirani's 3 Idiots (2009) the very next year. 

2. Hrithik Roshan in Guzaarish (2010)
Often envied for his 'Greek god' physique, Hrithik Roshan remains one of the fittest leading men in the business. Yet, for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Guzaarish, the actor gained a 36 inch waist to play a paraplegic. It did not come without its risks. The actor later said, "As the paralysed man in Guzaarish, I got an excuse to binge. I was eating fried food (batata wadas and samosas), ice-creams and chocolates. For the first time in 15 years, I went overboard. I understood why doctors tell us that junk food can kill. My medical reports set off alarm bells." Due credit to Roshan, the actor set out on a rigorous physical transformation to get back in shape within the next 10 weeks. 

3. Vidya Balan in The Dirty Picture (2011)
Vidya Balan was never the slimmest actress in the industry, but her transformation into Silk Smitha for Milan Luthria's The Dirty Picture was brilliant enough to win her the National Award. However, the weight gain for the film took its toll. Speaking to Anupama Chopra in a recent interview, Balan said, "What happened post The Dirty Picture was I realised I had been medicating for something, and for a condition that I didn't have. That played havoc with my body. Suddenly my body changed completely." The result was that Balan took a long break from acting. The actress is set to end her hiatus with Sujoy Ghosh's Kahaani 2 on 2 December. 

4. Priyanka Chopra in Mary Kom(2014)
As the Gold medal winning boxer Mary Kom, Priyanka Chopra had to push the limits of her endurance. Bringing in trainers like Samir Jaura (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag) and Rob Miller, Chopra was put through functional training, cross fit, and boxing routines to help develop the physique of a boxer. It worked, and won the actress a Filmfare Award nomination. 

5. Bhumi Pednekar in Dum Laga Ke Haisha(2015)
For her role as an ordinary housewife in Haridwar, Bhumi Pednekar put on a massive 30 kilos. The weight certainly added conviction to her performance, but it was quite a tough decision for a young actress trying to break through in the industry. However, since then Pednekar has lost 30 kilos, and is back to her original self. In fact, when the idea for a sequal was popped up, Pednekar said, "Only when Ayushmaan will be gaining weight instead of me." That should explain the difficulties involved. 

6. Randeep Hooda in Sarbjit(2016)
The actor pulled off a Christian Bale-esque turn shedding his muscles to transform into a POW in Sarbjit. In an interview, Hooda revealed, "I was a muscular 94 kg at the time and while it's easy to burn fat, it's hard to lose muscle. I was expecting to shoot the portions when Sarabjit was a pahalwan in his village and then slowly shed weight. The decision came as a shock and led to a period of physical and mental torture." The torture mentioned by Hooda arrived in the form of 'lack of sleep', and constant hunger. The role certainly won him the plaudits, and his dedication to the craft did not go unnoticed either. 

7.Salman Khan in Sultan(2016)
Salman Khan does not need to go 'method' to rake in box office success. But in Ali Abbas Zafar's wrestling drama, the Khan gave up his fit physique to gain a more portly shape, before regaining the physique of an MMA wrestler. Director Zafar revealed that the actor's weight fluctuated between 78 and 82 kgs during the shoot. Zafar said to Filmfare, "One point of the time he fluctuates between 78 kg and 82 kg then he goes to 90 kg and then he goes to almost gaining 100 kg. The credible thing about it is that Salman Khan did it while shooting the film."