Bollywood Buzz

Bombay Velvet is my Titanic: Ranbir Kapoor

Ranbir Kapoor walks into the spectacular set of Bombay Velvet in Sri Lanka wearing a red cap, white vest and blue denims, a jaunty cigarette hanging off his lips. The actor’s transformation into Johnny Balraj, the ambitious street fighter who goes on to rule the Bombay of the ’50s, is complete.

The makeover has not been an easy one though as Ranbir is juggling the buff avatar of Bombay Velvet with Jagga Jasoos where he plays a lanky teenager. To keep up with these physical demands, the actor carted his personal chef and trainer for the Lanka schedule.

“I have to look like a toughie in Bombay Velvet, so I had to bulk up for the role. And then when I shoot for Anurag’s (Basu) Jagga Jasoos I have to metamorphose into an 18-year-old wiry boy. I’ve been working out everyday, first to gain muscle and then to lose it all for a lean frame,” says Ranbir.

The actor ranks the physical transformation as the easy bit of the preparation. The extreme makeovers, a la Farhan Akhtar in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club, does not impress him. “I don’t think it is a big deal, the emotional investment is the tougher part. Growing your hair or a beard or losing weight is easy,” the actor shrugs.

Prodded by his trainer Ranbir would hit the gym religiously every day but soon got bored of the regime. So he invited director Anurag Kashyap to join him. The rotund director is now sporting a trimmer frame, thanks to these exercise sessions.

Working out with Anurag was a perk for Ranbir too who says that he accepted Bombay Velvet just so that he could collaborate with the director. “I think his treatment of the story is unprecedented in scale and there is a lot to exploring in the character I play,” says the actor.

His last release Besharam, opened to bad collections and worse reviews, ending his successful two-year run, but no regrets. “I took the biggest risk with Saawaariya. Besharam failed and it was disappointing but I have been taught not to take failure to my heart and success to my head. This time there is more pressure on Anurag as it is his magnum opus,” he laughs.

“But Bombay Velvet is my most romantic film, it’s my Titanic or Gone With The Wind,” the actor signs off.


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