Who would think Akshay Kumar with his lean wiry look and super-fit physique would need to lose more weight for a role? For his army captain's role in A R Murugadoss' remake of his Tamil hit Thuppakki, Akshay Kumar has been asked lose 7 kgs. Pronto!
Because the shooting starts on December 20, since the Christmas week is considered lucky by Murugadoss.
Says a source close to the Tamil director, "He released his Ghajini in December. Since then Murugadoss has been excessively attached to the Christmas season. He was keen on starting the Hindi Thuppakki in the Christmas week. And Akshay was happy to oblige. The only problem is, he has two weeks to lose at least 5 kgs, and some more later to play an army captain at least 12 years junior to Akshay's biological age."
Explains Murugadoss, "The soldier-hero is never really shown in the army. The drama happens while he's on leave. But we want Akshay to look like a young army jawaan fit enough to take on the villains. Not only that. We actually want him to look like a real soldier. He will be getting a crew-cut hair-styling done. We don't want Akshay to look unconvincing as the soldier in any detail."
The demand to lose weight seems strange for a leading man who is as slim as Akshay.
Explains Murugadoss, "Akshay is one of the fittest heroes in India. But to play the soldier we want him slightly fitter. His shoulders should become more streamlined, his frame should be slimmer. Akshay has the physique for the role. He just needs to lose a little more weight and become slightly sharper around the edges."
For the Tamil film, Vijay had actually gone for commando training to play the soldier. "But Akshay is already into martial arts. So all he needs to do is just polish up his act. He has the know-how and the physical fitness," says the director.
Incidentally, for Ghajini, Aamir Khan had to bulk up and add muscle to his physique to play the self-trained fighter. In Thuppakki, Akshay goes the other way to get leaner meaner.