Monday, 30th October 2017

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  • Published 13.09.14

At 10.30pm (yes, you read that right), Dev strode into Amplified Fitness Centre on Sarat Bose Road. After a 30-minute warm-up session, he settled down for a body chat!

Why was it important to bulk up for Joddha?

See, for the first time I am playing a warrior. In Joddha, my character Rudrapratap kills a hundred soldiers at a time! So my body should be fighting fit. Recently there has been a very good change in me. Nowadays I am getting into the skin of the character, whether it’s Amal in Bunohaans, Shankar in Chander Pahar or Rudrapratap in Joddha. Not just have a dream body, I also had to pick up Sanskrit words, the diction and the walk… the broad shoulders, broad chest, someone who walks with his head held high.... At the same time I had to get an attitude while talking. He had to sound like he could lead his soldiers.

You have a double role in Joddha. Tell us about the two...

Rudrapratap is a warrior. He protects the kingdom. That’s the flashback story. The other character is Abir, completely different, very modern. Abir barely manages to run his family. I have tried to make the two characters look very different through acting, costume, look and presentation. I hope people don’t say ‘what is Dev doing, how could he do such a film after Bunohaans?!’

How did you achieve the body of a warrior?

By working out in the gym at 2am for four months! On certain days I would wake up at 4am and start exercising. I didn’t follow a time table. Whenever I had time I would workout because in between I was shooting for Joddha, Bunohaans and Bindaas.

You’ve always been fit and muscular. Did you follow a special diet for Joddha?

See, earlier I didn’t have muscles. To achieve this body I ate a lot of chicken and carbs. We had thought of a six-pack. But that would be too much because the story travels back 400 years. The warriors in those days used to shield their body with an iron jacket. I too have covered my upper body with a shield and the only time people will get to see Rudrapratap’s bare body is when he dies.... So I had to build up muscles. I am a super foodie so the diet bit was very tough. For breakfast I had protein shake, curd and fruits, brown rice and chicken for lunch, and fruits and boiled veggies for dinner.

How many kilos did you lose or gain?

The best part was neither did I lose weight nor gain. The body fat got converted into muscles! My weight has remained constant at 84 which is fine considering I am 6’1.

What kind of exercises did you do in the gym?

Hardcore training. Cardio, weight training, metabolic training. I did rigorous training only for Joddha. Now I have gone back to my normal diet and exercise.

Were you on steroids or have you achieved these muscles solely by working out?

No. They are absolutely natural. Steroids have a short-term effect and it harms your body. I would request everyone to never try steroids.

What kept you motivated through those four months of rigorous exercise and strict diet?

It’s the work, the new kind of cinema that I am doing, the new characters that I am playing right now, the new people that I am getting to meet.... I never thought that Tonyda (Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury) would cast me so early in my career. I thought I’d have to wait to hit 40 before he casts me! I am going through the best phase of my life. I am getting to play all kinds of roles. Very few people now have this question on their minds about whether Dev can do a particular role or not. Because they know that Dev will give his 200 per cent. Good, bad or ugly, Dev will give 1,000 per cent. Period. It’s very important that people who think Dev will remain just a star and never become an actor have faith in me. Besides, this is my bread and butter. If I don’t look good how will I earn money?

Is there any bite or sip you’ve had to let go after becoming an actor?

Chai. I miss my morning cuppa with milk and sugar. Now I sip on green tea, ki kharap, baaje khete!

Which is your favourite look from a film?

I loved my look in Challenge the most.

Finally, do you like your woman curvy or size zero?

Curvy. Size zero is a disease!