Bollywood actress Swara Bhasker slammed filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali in an open letter, saying that she felt ''reduced to a vagina'' at the end of Padmaavat. The letter drew ire on Twitter and many from the film fraternity hit back at Swara. However, the actress is all praise for Ranveer Singh. In an interview, Ranveer who played the role of antagonist Alauddin Khilji in the magnum opus said that he received an appreciation message from Swara. Ranveer said, "I got a message from Swara just yesterday. She loved my performance in the film. So..."
Actor Ranveer Singh says he felt pushed against the wall with the many roadblocks ahead of the release of "Padmaavat" and its long gestation period, a rage that propelled his portrayal of Alauddin Khilji in the film. The film, which released on January 25 with multiple disclaimers following nationwide protests, found itself in trouble from the very beginning with its sets being vandalised twice in Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
"There was a lot of anxiety surrounding the shooting. Whatever untoward incident happened, it made me very, very angry. Ever since the first incident on the sets... I was raging from inside. But I chose not to act out in a destructive way. I channeled it and used it constructively. I put it into my performance," the actor said in an interview. The much-debated film is already a blockbuster and Ranveer's portrayal of Khilji has been singled out for particular praise. More than happiness, however, Ranveer says he feels a sense of relief.
The costume drama was not easy to shoot, says the star. The many delays led to the film being shot in almost one go - in 40 plus days. "Apart from what was happening, the actual shooting process was difficult due to the delays. I was shooting for more than 40 days straight, which is unheard of in a costume drama, especially on a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film. It is draining at every level, physically mentally, emotionally." In his previous collaborations with Bhansali, there would be a break every six to eight days so that the crew could recuperate but that was not the option this time.
"My brain had turned into mush, my body had turned into pulp, I had no feeling in my muscles. I kept pushing but physically, I was breaking. But when you have your back against the wall, you need to keep digging deeper. It was the angst that kept me going." Constantly being in character took its toll on Ranveer. The darkness of the character, he says, started to creep up on him, a feeling so intense that he lost touch with himself for a while.
"I try to be as honest to my craft as I can possibly be. The dark person that Khilji was, I had to become that from the inside. I had to feel all those things and that can be unhealthy. The shooting process was non-stop. I would put on the make-up for two hours and shoot for 12-14 hours straight and repeat it the next day. "I lost touch with myself. I realised that something was wrong. I had become uneasy, unstable. So I first confided in my mother and my best friend. They started spending time with me after the shoot. They brought me back to myself. I was lucky to have that kind of support."
(With PTI inputs)
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