Rani Mukerji starrer 'Mardaani 2' has managed to engage the entire nation with its gripping storyline and brilliant narrative. Inspired by shocking true crimes against women by juveniles, the edge-of-the-seat thriller sees Rani in a race against time to capture a brutal serial rapist, played by the brilliant debutant Vishal Jethwa, who systematically targets women. Needless to say, the film is now garnering a lot of attention from the audience and critics who can't stop praising it.
Vishal has also become the talk of the town for his brilliant portrayal of an absolutely evil character. In fact, so good was his display that his character will remain as one of the best villains to have ever been introduced in the Bollywood industry. His pure evil act has earned him rave reviews and many have called him a ‘revelation’! Of course, it wasn't easy to get into the skin of the character and Vishal recently opened up about how methodical and meticulous the process of transforming into the inhuman serial rapist Sunny was.
“I’m a very happy, social person so this character is a complete contrast to who I’m in real life. It was very, very hard for me to become Sunny but I knew I had to prove myself as an actor. The preparation for this film was a painful process for me emotionally. I’m an actor so I approached my debut with as much honesty and integrity towards the character that I was given to play. I knew that for media and people to love my character, I will need them to hate Sunny and I prepped really hard. It was not easy because I’m not this evil person,” says Vishal.
“To transform into Sunny, I used to put a chair in the middle of the room and I used to vent all my anger, all my aggression towards it as if it was a person. I used a rod to hit the chair, abuse at the chair, shout and scream at the chair as if I was Sunny and I had to cause pain. I was exhausted after this process because Sunny is a person no one should ever become. Our film warns of people like him,” he adds.
“I also decided that I will wear the same clothes that Sunny wore in the film so that he can be with me even when I wasn’t rehearsing. I wore Sunny’s clothes through the shooting schedule. At one point in time, I stopped taking a bath with soap because Sunny is a filthy human being. I used to go to my house and lock myself up in my house for hours and hours and try and behave like Sunny, trying to find a body language, posture, demeanour,” he adds.
The newcomer elaborates, “I searched for a lot of news clips about such criminals and in detail researched about their crimes and their state of mind while committing these crimes. I was in a very dark place and I remember one day I couldn’t take it anymore and I broke down and kept sobbing and howling for a long time as this character ate me from inside. But, I think, everything that I did to become Sunny paid off at the end because of the love and appreciation that I’m getting now. It was a tough phase for me but I had to go through it to bring Sunny to life. I had to believe in him, believe his beliefs and notions about society and women to become him,” he adds.
And choosing to play a villain in his first film is definitely a brave move by Vishal. He elaborated on his decision by saying, “Playing a villain in your debut film is a tough choice for sure but I’m an actor at the end of the day and I would like to showcase my acting in every possible way. For me being a part of a franchise like 'Mardaani 2' was a big opportunity. It had an icon like Rani Mukerji. It was being produced by YRF – the biggest production house in India and I was sure I will get the right exposure with this film.”
The talented actor adds, “Everything checked out for me and I decided to take the plunge. I’m glad right now that people have loved the film and have appreciated my work. It’s a positive step in the right direction. I would love to be a part of good films and I’m not thinking about what my next film or role should be. I’m ready to do good work in good films. This is a dream come true for me so I’m not going to strategise now and just enjoy the work.”
Produced by Aditya Chopra, 'Mardaani 2' is running to packed houses in theatres now.