Being a sportsperson is not only about hard work and perseverance, it is also about having the right sportsmanship spirit and a competitive attitude. In Bollywood, we have had a few films based on real life sports people. The actors who portrayed their characters on-screen had a fair amount of preparation to do for their roles and received acclaim for their portrayals. Here’s a list:
1) Aamir Khan (Dangal)
Mr.Perfectionist played wrestler Mahavir Singh in the film. The actor beefed himself up to look his part and to complete the ageing look had a crew hair cut and grew a thick white beard. Aamir even went vegan for his diet while preparing for his role. The film was a major blockbuster and Aamir’s performance was much appreciated.
2) Emraan Hashmi (Azhar)
Serial kisser Emraan Hashmi went in for an image makeover when he played the character of former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin. Whilst preparing for the role, Emmi bonded with Azhar over many conversations. Azhar and Emmi also had practice sessions from which Emraan used to imbibe things about Azhar’s game. Emraan delivered a knockout performance with this one.
3) Sushant Singh Rajput (M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story)
Sushant Singh Rajput got a major breakthrough with this film based on the life of former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni aka Captain Cool. The film chronicled the life of Dhoni from a young age through a series of life events. As part of the prep for the role, Sushant went through an exhaustive prolonged training for a period of 18 months before shooting began and watched Dhoni’s videos for hours, to a point that he subconsciously started picking up some of his traits. The film was a blockbuster and Sushant gained a lot of appreciation for his portrayal.
4) Priyanka Chopra (Mary Kom)
Based on the life of the eponymous boxer Mary Kom, the film had Priyanka Chopra playing the titular role. PeeCee underwent extensive physical training for three months to attain a muscular physique and learned Kom’s distinct boxing style. Priyanka delivered a praiseworthy performance and went on to win the Screen Award and the Producers Guild Film Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
5) Farhan Akhtar (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag)
The film was based on the life of Milkha Singh (also known as the Flying Sikh) who was a national champion runner and an Olympian. Farhan Akhtar essayed Milkha in this biographical sports drama. Akhtar visited Punjab to meet Milkha Singh and his family. He was inspired by Milkha Singh’s life and underwent extensive physical training for the role. Akhtar received a lot of acclaim for his performance.
6) Irrfan Khan (Paan Singh Tomar)
The film was based on the true story of the athlete of the same name. A soldier in the Indian Army, he won a gold medal at the Indian National Games, but was forced to become a bandit. Irrfan essayed the titular role. The film was shot in the ravines of Chambal, in Dholpur and in the actual barracks Tomar lived in at Roorkee. To prepare for his role, Irrfan Khan trained rigorously with steeplechase coaches, even breaking his ankle at one point during the filming. Paan Singh Tomar achieved universal critical acclaim among the critics and as expected Irrfan delivered a winning performance.