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Arjun Rampal’s Intense Preparation To Play Gawli



Very rarely do actors get a chance to prepare as intensely as Arjun Rampal in Daddy.

In this bio-pic on the gangster Arun Gawli  directed by Aushim Ahluwalia ,Arjun got to play a real-life character, and that too one with shades of deep grey embedded in its soul.

“This was my first real-life character. And I had to give it my best shot. I neither wanted my Arun Gawli to be a spiffy caricature nor a faith replication of the original. Yes, I’ve worked very hard to look like Gawli. But more than appearance  I wanted to get to the core of his personality,to understand how a man with so many criminal cases against him is considered a messiah by his people. Was it just the money and largesse that he demonstrated which endeared  him to the poor? I think there was more. I’ve tried to understand the two sides of Gawli’s personality,  the criminal and the messiah.”

Arjun spent months preparing to “be” Gawli. He watched documentaries and video footage  on Gawli to get a hang on how Gawli walked talked and lived.

“It was a challenge, But at the  of it all,  Gawli approved. So I feel all the effort was worth it.”

Gawli will accompany Arjun in the promotion  of the film Daddy, just as the real Dhoni endorsed and  supported the reel Dhoni  in Neeraj Pandey’s elaborately staged  bio-pic Dhoni The  Untold  Story on the legendary cricketer.

“For me preparation is not just important,  it’s the key to getting the characterization right. I spent an abundant  time with Dhoni, imbibed absorbed  his habits but made it a point not to copy him,” says Sushant.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui who is  immersed in  playing  the legendary Urdu writer Saddat Haasan Manto  spent month preparing for the part. “I wanted to feel what it meant to be a thinking mind in the 1940s.For months I got rid of  all the techno-gadgets  that control our lives.”

Nawazuddin stopped using his cellphone and locked himself away from the hustlebustle to play Manto.

The will to infuse intensity into a real character can sometimes overpower an actor’s better judgment. RandeepHooda  played havoc with his metabolism when  he lost  close to 40 kilos to play  the prisoner of war SarbjitSingh.

“At the end of the day you have to know where to draw the line in your preparation. There is a famous incident of the legendary Sir Laurence Olivier telling Dustin Hoffman during the making of Marathon Man to “try acting” instead  of running for hours to look convincing as a sprinter… at the  of  all the preparation you just have to act,” says Arjun Rampal.

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