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By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
When Akshay Kapoor took up the challenge of acting as Tejas Rastogi in Ashu Trikha's Alag (produced by photographer Subi Samuel), he didn't know what he was letting himself in for.
Akshay went completely hairless for the film.
During its making, he shut himself off from the rest of the world for 45 days - didn't date his girlfriend, and got heat from his mom doing such a role.
When I was first narrated the role, my reaction was one of shock. But the real hero in Alag is the script, and when I realised how powerful it is, I decided to take up the challenge. Initially, when I would go to places like Linking Road, people and children would stare at my shaved eyebrows and hairless look and ask, 'Kya hua?'
Tejas had spent 20 years in isolation, so for seven days, I shut myself inside my house and locked out the rest of the world. For seven months, I immersed myself into the world of Tejas Rastogi. I even had the TV switched off.
The first three days were highly difficult, as I had to find my inner self. Tejas is a highly intellectual guy, a prodigy and a bookworm, with a photographic memory. I would read books like The Life of Pi and William Goldwin's Lord of The Flies - books that dealt with isolation and adolescent life.
My parents live in USA and didn't know I had gone completely hairless in the film.
Though my dad was very chilled-out about it, my mom hated my look. She is very sensitive about me and kept asking why I had to shave my hair off for the role. I told her it was what the script demanded.
This role played havoc with my social life. I didn't mingle with my friends for 45 days. The only two people I was close to, were Subi and Ashu. My mom hated my look, but my girlfriend accepted it.
She's not from films and doesn't understand the world of acting. It's very difficult having a relationship in the film industry. I won't mention her name as she won't like it, but she was extremely supportive when I told her I couldn't go out for some time.
She accepts me for what I am and is not bothered about the way I look. But she hadn't seen me till the time shooting started. Now the promos are out and she has seen them.
Training at a gym
Tejas had to be physically fit, so till shooting started, I pumped iron and did cardio six days a week for 45 minutes, under a trainer. Since I didn't want to expose my look, I would go to the gym at 11 pm, work out and come home. That's the time the gym is shut.
Ekta, Sanjay to produce films
Now Page 3 - Part 2?