The only thing that can beat Vikram’s superlative performance in I, is his body transformation for the movie. If Christian Bale is the Hollywood actor who amazes people with his different body weights, it is Vikram in India. Christian Bale who weighed 84 kilos for ‘Reign of Fire’ brought it down to 55 Kilos for ‘The Machinist’. He increased his weight to 86 kilos, beefing it up for ‘Batman Returns’ and then again brought it down to 66 kilos in ‘Rescue Down’. He pushed his weight again and brought it to a consistent above 83 kilos for ‘Dark Knight’ and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ in 2008 and 2012. But in 2010, he reduced his weight drastically to 65 kilos for ‘The Fighter’.
A phenomenon not quite seen in India, Vikram changed the scenario with his unique body transformation for the movie ‘I’. The 48 year old Kennedy Vinod Raj (Vikram’s real name) whose regular weight is 82 kilos, built his body to 120 kilos and then lost his weight dramatically to 55 kilos, for the role of the ‘hunchback’.
How Vikram built his body for the role of the wrestler in ‘I’
Vikram began working on ‘I since 2013. He worked with three trainers, while Bharat worked on his diet and prepared a schedule for working out, the other trainers Joseph and Vidya Sagar helped him stick to a disciplined diet and work on his body. Vikam who loves his food said, “I had to be on a constant diet and it can get very boring, eating the same stuff in the same amount. People give up on their diet because of this reason. So we brought some taste to the diet, by having protein shake cakes and cooking with quinoa and chia seeds.
Vikram was on a fiber-diet eating organic fruits from different countries and taking protein supplements from Europe. Most of his workouts were plyometric-based. These are called ‘jump training’ exercises which make use of muscles to exert high force in short bursts of time, thus increasing power and speed. This form of exercise is mostly used by athletics, martial artists and people who participate for high-jumps.
How Vikram lost weight for the Hunchback role in ‘I’.
Vikram didn’t have it easy when it came to body transformation for the hunch-back’s role in ‘I’. He ended up lost 50 percent of his body weight and he credited his success to his dieticians who kept a check on him. Vikram says, “It was quite difficult to manage my hunger levels. It would drive me crazy.” He lets out a secret, “Since the look of the disfigured man in ‘I’ was kept secret, I would either be at the shoot or at home. I stopped going out. So, I would eat anything I would find in the fridge. I would wake up and eat in the middle of the night. But, I cut down on my home-made food, I survived only on fluids.” Also read about Vikram’s makeup for hunchback character in I
Vikram’s body transformation for I – Sheer Will Power
The actor could have easily pumped up his body with steroids and made use of special effect to look thin. But just like Farhan Akhtar’s workout in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Vikram took lot of pain in working out with single-minded dedication for both of his looks. He says, “For the muscular look, steroids could have done the trick and for the thin look, I could have gone with the professionals told me but I believe how one looks on the screen does build an image around the part, he or she is playing. I would rather look like the character and feel it in me, than be like myself and do something artificial.”
An ardent Arnold Schwarnegger fan, Vikram was delighted to have the superstar of body-building in Madras for the audio launch of ‘I’. Arnold was impressed with the unique body transformation of Vikram for the film and gave him some workable tips too. It was Vikram’s initiative to tone down heavily for the role of the hunchback in ‘I’.