Ludhiana– Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan on Thursday resumed the shooting of “Dangal” here at the Akhada Leel near Toosa village in a new muscular look for the younger avatar of his character, and confirmed that the movie will release on December 23 as scheduled.
“We are coming on Christmas weekend. We are not releasing our film on December 16. It will release on December 23, which is a Friday just two days before Christmas,” he clarified.
The 51-year-old actor will essay the role of Mahavir Singh Phogat in the forthcoming biographical sports drama film.
Aamir, who bulked up to 95 kg earlier to play the ageing wrestler in the Nitesh Tiwari-directed film, has followed a rigorous diet schedule to shed weight to show the younger version of the wrestler.
For his new younger look, which he shared with his fans on various social media platforms earlier this week, the “PK” star took four to five months break.
“When I came to Ludhiana, I was very fat. At that time we shot for the scenes where Mahavir has become old. 85 per cent of the film is about his that look only. Now we are shooting for the portion when Mahavir was young,” Aamir said.
The set, which was set up at the famous “Akhada” (wrestling pit) gave a genuine feel to the shoot and was full of langot-clad wrestlers, who were seen flexing their muscles. Some of the key elements including a photograph of lord Hanuman, body-building equipment and cow dung cakes on the walls added to the urban feel of the sequence.
Despite shooting in the hot and humid weather, the cast and crew perfectly managed to start the shoot for a part wherein Aamir, donning blue striped shirt, trouser and a “gamchha” to keep the heat at bay, can be seen cheering up for two wrestlers.
Sakshi Tanwar, who will be seen as Mahavir’s wife and Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra, who play Mahavir’s daughters — Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari — in the film, were nowhere to be seen on the set.
Talking about his preparation for the role of Mahavir, Aamir shared that he was taught wrestling by Kripa Shankar Patel.
“He is one of India’s national coaches. He works with the Indian Railways. We took special permission for him as our film would promote wrestling in the country. He gave his one year to the film and taught me and my on screen daughters everything about wrestling,” said Aamir.
Asked why he shot for older version of Mahavir before his younger age, Aamir said: “Every man is asking me how I lost weight. The reason is when I started shooting for the film at that time I had finished ‘PK’ in which I had good body. I had 90 per cent body fat and I was very fit.
“So when I heard the story of ‘Dangal’, the director said that you are ready for this (younger version of Mahavir) and should later gain weight for the older version. But I said when your film will finish then I’ll be left with 95 kg… I decided that we will shoot Mahavir’s older look first and then I take four-five months in which I’ll be having a set goal of losing weight.”
The shooting of “Dangal” is expected to wrap up in next 10 days.