Figure it out

5When everybody in the showbiz struggles to keep the weight down with endless diet plans and hawk-eyed personal trainers, there are some actors who have actually used their  BMI-defiant figures to the advantage. In other words, their being fat has become their USP, as phenomenally successful small-screen hero Ram Kapoor has confessed.
Comedy remains a genre that gives more access to overweight actors compared to others. In fact, if actors like Ram Kapoor and Dilnaaz Irani were to undergo a fitness regime to lose weight, they might lose their assignments. A case in point is the career of Preeti Ganguly, daughter of Ashok Kumar. She was fat but beautiful and a great actress. She featured in a major role in Basu Chatterjee’s Khatta Meetha (1978), a comedy around the Parsee community, and in other films such as Khel Khel Mein. She then decided to shed the kilos to become a pretty, svelte beauty who could slip into the shoes of a leading lady. But her luck ran out so far as screen roles went and she consoled herself by opening the Ashok Kumar Acting Academy. But she passed away in 2012. Unfortunately, her whittled down figure led to her professional downfall.
Manorama, the notorious aunt in the thumping hit Seeta Aur Geeta began to lose out on roles when she began to lose weight , not intentionally but due to health reasons and ageing. She began as a beautiful heroine but as she became fat, her demand as a shrewish, comic villainous character went right up and she excelled as a fine performer over a span of 60 years.
Another famous actress is late comedian Maruti’s plump and tall daughter Guddi Maruti who has been reigning for many years on the small screen in different kinds of character roles. Though she began as a comic actor on the big screen, she is now known as a versatile character actress both on the small and big screens. Delnaaz today is comfortable mainly on the big screen and in a dance reality show where she ran the contest for many episodes. “Age and weight never matter if you have the confidence. For years, I tried to diet but it did not work. Love yourself and the world loves you,” she says.
But the biggest success among them all is Ram Kapoor, the paratha-loving husband of a much younger wife who addresses him always as “Mr. Kapoor” in the big hit serial Bade Acche Lagte Hai. He won the Best Actor in the Indian Telly Awards for three consecutive years from 2006 to 2008.
After having trained at a Stanislavsky acting academy in LA by which time he had decided on acting as his vocation, Kapoor made his debut in Nyay in 1997 and with a few hiccups he has gone up and up! He stood out as the out-of-work lawyer in Lakhsmi, the recent film on trafficking, in Student of the Year and has been signed up for so many roles that he had to ask his producer to wind up Bade Acche Lagte Hain. For the first time, the Indian audience accepted a plump man approaching middle-age as a lovable hero. Other notable appearances are in films such as Udaan, Karthik Calling Karthik, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, and Agent Vinod.
Now Kapoor has stopped taking up television assignments because of his rising demand as a supporting actor in big banner films for the big screen.
The glamour and beauty of Kirron Kher is enhanced by her weight and there can be no two questions about this. She has never tried to smuggle herself into clothes that would never fit her. Nor has she tried to addict herself to rigid diets that might have wiped that flashing smile across her face. Having majored in drama from the University of Chandigarh, after a long and hard struggle, she finally found her bearings in Bollywood in character roles under big banners after she did a successful stint in TV serials. She won the Special Jury Award for her performance in the title role in Sardari Begum and the Best Actress Award for her performance in Rituparno Ghosh’s Bariwalli. She is a brilliant stage actress too.
Ask actors Deven Bhojani, Dolly Bindra, Khushboo Shroff, Alpesh Dhakan, Supriya Raina Shukla and Bharti Singh insist that though it is their fatness that has sustained their demand as actors, they would never have survived in this cut-throat world dominated by beauty, sophistication, macho bodies and slim figures unless they were also committed and hard-working actors. Besides, generously endowed actors are not always associated with comedy. If you look back, Tuntun, Manorama, Asit Sen and Polson were in demand because they were fat and let us not forget that they were great actors with perfect sense of timing and an individual way of dialogue delivery. Tuntun had also cut many records in her original name of Uma Devi.  (TWF)