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Newcomer Pihu Sand gained 20kg for Fanney Khan role!

The first-time actress auditioned for the role of Lata, an aspiring singer, for nine months before she landed it.

Sonal Pandya

Newcomer Pihu Sand is sharing the screen with artistes Anil Kapoor and Divya Dutta in Atul Manjrekar's Fanney Khan. An official remake of the Belgium film, Everybody's Famous! (2000), Fanney Khan follows a father who is keen on making his daughter a big singing star, even at the expense of kidnapping a pop star.

Kapoor plays the role of the father and Dutta plays the mother, while Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is the famous singer, named Baby Singh.

Pihu Sand from Mumbai landed the coveted role of the daughter, Lata Sharma, in the film. The first-time actress auditioned for the role through Mukesh Chhabra and went through nine months of workshop and auditions before she was cast.

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“We had to go through a five-day workshop in the final round of audition and we were given some stage acts to perform which were recorded. During the last two days, Atul Manjrekar sir gave us some scenes to improvise on and I guess that’s what got me the part," Sand told Mumbai Mirror, a tabloid.

The actress revealed that she had to work hard for her transformation as Lata. “I had to put on another 20kg in six months for the role and the prep included planning Lata’s look, makeup and even her haircut. The fringe is an important part of the character.”

In the film, Lata is confident about her talent, singing, and looks. Sand weighed around 98kg while shooting for the role. The actress said she had no qualms in gaining weight and was "not shy" about her body.

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Sand is not the first artistes to change her appearance for a film role. When actress Bhumi Pednekar made her debut in Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015), she followed a similar path. Pednekar gained around 15kg over six to eight months. She weighed around 90kg while playing the new bride Sandhya in the film.

When Aamir Khan filmed Dangal (2016), he gained around 22-25kg for his role as patriach Mahavir Phogat in the wrestling drama. He lost the excess weight, to play the younger version of the wrestler in the film, by enrolling in a weight loss program in the US.

Sand, who is only 20, said she did have health issues while she was prepping for the role, but felt it was worth it as acting was something she loved. The film also explores the issue of body-shaming and Sand said she related to her character's experiences.

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“I was fat because of a medical condition. I gained weight after 12 years and I still don’t understand why being fat or thin is not okay. I connected with Lata because a few similar things happened to me in real life too," she said.

Fanney Khan is due to be released on 3 August 2018 along with Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk and Akarsh Khurana’s Karwaan.