Actor Shayank Shukla, who is currently seen in film 'Jaadugar', has spoken about putting on weight and learning football for the film, which also stars Arushi Sharma, Javed Jaaferi, and Jitendra Kumar.
Shukla said: "To begin with, we have to understand the emotional and physical aspects of the character so we can connect to its life and accordingly convey the vividness of that character to our audience. I started thinking as Hemu, keeping in my mind that his left hand is not capable enough; it took me around 1-2 months to get completely flexible with Hemu. This whole process helped me a lot to convey the truthfulness of Hemu to my audience."
About what kind of challenges he faced preparing for Hemu, he said: "Firstly, my director (Sameer Saxena) asked me to gain 10kg weight in the very first meeting. He wanted me to gain 10kg more than my existing weight that time because it was the requirement of the script."
He added: "Secondly, I never followed football before this and here I had to play a goalkeeper of a football team! Being a goalkeeper, keeping every minute things of that game in mind, and to completely understand the entire process was very challenging in itself. On top of these, we had to reach the football field every morning at 6 a.m., where we had to exercise and learn the skills for the game, which was actually reducing my weight because of the physical activities involved in this process."
"And after practice session, I was supposed to eat even double my regular meals. These challenges seasoned me in every sense so that I was able to play the character in a very articulate way. It, in fact, helped me to hold the mannerism of the character."
The actor has been a part of shows such as 'Jabriya Jodi', web show 'Sunflower' and TV show 'Chandragupta Maurya.'
Describing his rapport with actor Kumar, Shukla said: "Jeetu is such a nice human being which reflects in his art, that's why I believe he is an amazing actor. He is someone who believes to maintain friendly relations with his co-actors."
"He has that sense of maturity where his stardom and his real personality never clashes. During the shoot, whenever we had free time we used to play cricket, crack jokes, and have fun which helped us to build our relationship on camera very smoothly."
"This film is about football, love, and magic. So the character I am playing is named as Hemu, who is a goalkeeper of this team called Adarsh Nagar Sikandar. This goal keeper is not like the usual ones... because of his physical approach, his left hand is weak compared to the right one. He has his own journey in the film from Zero to Hero, basic yet filled with magic. Somehow he is close to Meenu (Jeetu) emotionally, who understands his emotions genuinely."
[With Inputs from IANS]