Revealing the Intensity Behind the Scenes: Randeep Hooda’s Method Acting for ‘Highway’

In the corridors of Bollywood, there are tales of intense performances and the lengths actors go to become the characters they portray. One such story that continues to captivate audiences involves the talented actor Randeep Hooda, who offered an insider’s look at his intriguing approach to his role opposite Alia Bhatt in the acclaimed film, ‘Highway’. The collaboration marked a turning point in Bhatt’s career, showcasing her prowess and versatility beyond her debut performance in ‘Student of the Year’.

‘Highway,’ directed by Imtiaz Ali, is a gripping narrative of a young woman who experiences Stockholm Syndrome following her kidnapping by a truck driver. Throughout the film, audiences were treated to a raw and moving portrayal of two disparate characters whose lives become intertwined by fate. Randeep Hooda, who convincingly essays the role of the captor, recently unpacked the backstory of his preparation for this challenging role in a candid conversation with Humans of Bombay.

To create an authentic sense of fear and tension on screen, Hooda described how he consciously maintained a distance from his co-star Alia Bhatt during the filming process. His aim was to foster a genuine sense of apprehension towards his character, which greatly contributed to the film’s emotional resonance. Hooda disclosed, “She was from Juhu, she hadn’t really seen much of the world, she didn’t have exposure. I had exposure… I’d been in NCR with the Gurjars and Jaats. I grew up among them. So, to keep her fear of my character in place… She used to be terrified of me, and I made sure of that. I never spoke to her.”

This unique method not only elevated Bhatt’s performance but also played a pivotal role in enhancing the dynamic between the actors, enabling them to deliver a more convincing and impactful experience to the audience. Hooda reminisces about the effects of his strategy, noting, “She wouldn’t come sit next to me also. And that’s the effect we wanted in the movie because that character had to be… She was new, she was still getting her acting chops right.” Hooda genuinely hopes this level of dedication to character development is something he can experience from other actors in his own future performances.

Randeep Hooda’s commitment to acting extends beyond his roles in front of the camera, as evidenced by his latest undertaking. He is currently engrossed in preparing for the release of the highly anticipated biographical drama ‘Swatantrya Veer Savarkar’. Taking on such a historic figure, Hooda has delved deep into the character, even undergoing a dramatic physical transformation, evident through a behind-the-scenes photograph that he shared, astonishing his followers with his extreme weight loss and changed appearance. The actor accompanied the picture with a caption that paid homage to his role, writing, “KAALA PAANI,” referencing the infamous cellular jail associated with Savarkar.

Hooda’s creative process and reverence for the characters he plays is evident in his anticipation of the audiences’ reception to the forthcoming film. At the trailer launch, he openly addressed the controversies surrounding the historical figure he portrays, asserting that the film aims to dispel long-held misconceptions. “This is an anti-propaganda film. It will counter all the propaganda against Savarkar that has been going on since decades,” Hooda explained, asserting his character’s depth and historical significance.

As Randeep Hooda continues to challenge himself and push the boundaries of his craft, his reflections on his role in ‘Highway’ and his current endeavors highlight a devotion to storytelling that is both inspiring and instructive for colleagues and aspiring actors alike. His careful character study and absorbing performances not only enhance the cinematic experiences for his audience but also leave an indelible mark on the fabric of Indian cinema.

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