Actors always say that they want to get into the skin of the character, but very few walk their talk. Some do. Among them is actor Sharan, who has transformed into a woman for his role in Jai Lalitha, a remake of Malayalam movie Mayamohini. For Sharan, the process of learning the nuances of the role took months. "There is a difference between acting like a girl and living like one and I attempted the latter. Mistakes can be forgiven when you are enacting a girl but not when your character is that of a woman," says Sharan.
He adds,"The film was not conceived in a single meeting. The makers had three to four meetings to convince me. I accepted the role only after the fourth photo session. It was director P Kumar, who supported me throughout."
He adds, "I first lost 11 kilos within a deadline. I also adopted feminine mannerisms. I have sported eight to nine costumes of different shades, including a swim suit in the film."
As an actor, he knows that the script should be entertaining and not just his appearance. "Appearance can be tolerated for 15 minutes but not for two and a half hours," says Sharan.
The actor had to get waxing and threading done apart from on and off facials and bleaching.
"For four months I lived like a woman. I took home two sets of chudhidars, sarees, wigs and stilettos to practice. I also had to go through the inevitable — facial, bleaching and threading. I got introduced to beauty parlours. Getting my chest waxed was the most difficult part."
The actor also took tips from his female family members. "I used to discuss my role with my wife, my sister Shruti, who is also a good actor, and my mother also gave me useful tips. They all were proud of me for taking up this project."
He continues, "This is a once in a lifetime experience and I will always cherish these memories. After living like a woman for a year, my respect for women has gone up. Men have so much freedom. A woman is judged for whatever she does, including how she wears her clothes. Hats off to all women who make sacrifices for their family."