‘I have a good grounding in yoga’

Vishwajeet Pradhan talks about how he keeps his body fit to play an on-screen villain

Proud vegetarian: Vishwajeet Pradhan. Photo: The Hindu

Proud vegetarian: Vishwajeet Pradhan. Photo: The Hindu

The villain has been an integral part of Bollywood movies. Twist and turn in the storyline is instilled by the villain only. From Amjad Khan, Pran to Amrish Puri, we have been terrorised on the screen by all. On the same list is the seasoned Vishwajeet Pradhan who is picking accolades for his negative roles lately. Vishwajeet has done 170 films like YalgarRaazZeherNo problem,KaramLamha and lately become a household name for his small screen role of S.S.P. Brahmanand Jakhar in Maryada- Lekin Kab Tak?

Vishwajeet started his career with the popular serial Fauji with Shah Rukh Khan. But his break in the big screen was thanks to Feroz Khan in the movie Yalgaar where he played a villain by the name of Jai Chand. His role was appreciated and soon he got a ‘Bollywood villain’ tag. Because of this typecast, he ended up getting negative roles but it does not disturb him, he says. Also being associated with theatre for many years, for him “acting is the supreme aim”. Albeit few, but Vishwajeet points out that he has also played some positive roles in films like Fareb andDastak. In Style, he played a comic role. Also, he played a eunuch in the film Shabnam Mausiwhere he shed his “tough villain image, wore a sari and a bindi. The character also had a transition from negative to positive.”

“When I met Feroz Khan, he offered me a role of a villain in Yalgaar. He also asked me to build my physique. As for villains action is a must, so I joined a gym,” he recalls. Yoga also has been an integral part of his life. “I have a good grounding in yoga. I have been doing it from my graduation days,” he says.

Action sequences by an actor do look good on screen but truth is different behind the scenes. Sometimes, they suffer from injury and Vishwajeet has faced the worst. He explains, “I got plastic surgery done on my face because my skin burnt during the shooting of one of my films. During shoots I have suffered several injuries and it took a toll on me. So I changed my exercise regime. I reduced stretching and heavy weight lifting. I do more muscle based exercise for flexibility of my body these days.”

Vishwajeet is a vegetarian and is proud of it. He says, “In my routine I try to be disciplined with food. I avoid oily food. I am a vegetarian and it has helped me a lot. I do not smoke or drink.”

A firm believer in “a power above us”, he thinks one should have pure thoughts with pure food. “I think the exercise we do, things we allow to go in to our mind and body, what we read, what we eat, what we listen, all effect our body in different ways. Some one said we are the company we have. So this should be our company,” he signs off.

(This article was first published in The Hindu-MetroPlus)

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