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Old 17th December 2009   #1
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Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 517
Default Actress gains weight for historical epic

This is something mildly interesting. Bollywood is set to release a new blockbuster historical epic called Veer, as described in this article:

‘Veer’, set in the backdrop of eighteenth century, the film aims to highlight the fight against the British rule by Pindaris, a clan of warriors. Within this, blossoms a poignant love between a warrior – Veer the strongest of Pindaris and a princess – Yashodhara, daughter of King of Madavgarh who is a sworn enemy of Veer. ‘Veer’ said to be an epic saga of bravery and drama, treachery and love.
An Indian version of Braveheart, one might say.

Well, here's the interesting part. The article goes on to say that the director "saw to that every bit of the film is in tune with the bygone era" -- including, crucially, the look of the lead actress, who was required to gain weight for the role, to fit the fuller-figured beauty ideal of the time. Various articles about the film mention this:

Zarine Khan was put on a chocolate diet for her period film to appear more full-bodied like women of the past.

Salman put Zarine on a chocolate diet making sure she ate cakes and pastries to appear more curvaceous.

Reveals an insider, "Veer required a leading actress who resembled a woman in the 18th century. The women of the time were full-bodied and voluptuous. Zarine was too thin for the character and hence we asked her to gain weight.
[The director] ordered her to go on a weight-gaining diet for Veer. Zarine Khan was asked to gorge on chocolate cakes for months to look voluptuous for her role.

They also conveyed that it was mentioned in her contract that she had to put on weight.

Salman Khan checked her diet regularly, making her eat cakes and pastries to appear well-rounded and curvy.
Sources said, Anil Sharma also waited for three months to have Bollywood babe not only buxom, but also curvaceous, as she plays a role of princess.
I like the last comment especially, as it associates being a princess with having an opulent figure.

What's admirable about this is how it contrasts (favourably) to what Hollywood does. American films in historical settings will have the costumes right, the sets, etc., but where they absolutely contradict history is in the films' values (aesthetic values, and character values). The actresses will invariably be ahistorically underweight, making them look modern rather than true to the beauty ideal of the past, and they'll behave in unfeminine, modern ways.

Unfortunately, the weight gain only makes the Veer actress appear faux-plus, and not truly full-figured. But it's still a refreshing improvement over modern media emaciation.

I haven't found any good pictures of the actress, but she appears in this excerpt from the film. This is one of the more lyrical moments, as opposed to the Braveheart-like combat scenes. She's the one in pink. Her voice sounds like nails on a chalkboard, but her dress is lovely, and she does have a soft-figured look.
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