Tamil superstar Vikram has lost substantial weight for Shankar's "I" in which he has three different looks and even fell ill a couple of times while preparing himself for the role.
Vikram has been on a gruelling diet to get into physical shape for "I".
"I've actually fallen ill a couple of times. 'I' is a do-or-die effort for me," said the actor who was also seen in Hindi films "Raavan" and "David".
"Yes, I am trying different looks. There are a lots of prosthetics involved. But more than external props, I'm actually changing my physical look in 'I'. I am changing my physique for the role. I have to lose and put on weight for the role, all in one film," he added.
The film has the kind of special effects and prosthetics that one has come to associate with director Shankar's cinema, be it "Indian" (dubbed into Hindi as "Hindustani") or "Anniyan" ("Aparichit" in Hindi).
Confirming the same, Vikram said: "In terms of special effects, it'd be like my earlier film 'Aparichit' with Shankar. The special effects would be 10 times more advanced. It's very hard work. It's a tough role."
Shankar's "I" would also be released in Hindi. "It has to be. It's a very expensive film. And I don't think any other actor would ever want to attempt what I've done in 'I'," said Vikram.
The actor said his toughest role so far has been in Bejoy Nambiar's "David".
"I had to be very normal and yet not be myself. When my wife saw 'David', she told me this was the most difficult character I've ever played. The challenge was to look drunk and to look lovelorn. Both are a a high of different kinds..."
About "David", Vikram says his character was "lovely" and "endearing".
"Unfortunately, a portion of my character's back-story in animation was removed. That would have given a very cartoonish comic book feel to my character. You get to see some of that in the Tamil version. But I am very happy with my part in the film. I had such wonderful co-stars... Ruby Chakravarti, Saurabh Shukla, Isha Shravani, Tabu. I had a wonderful time shooting with Bejoy Nambiar."
Vikram also spoke his Hindi dialogues for the first time.
"I had someone help me with the Hindi dialogues."
Thanks to repeated telecast of "Aparichit", Vikram has become a familiar face in northern India.
"At any given time it is on one television channel or another. I am currently shooting in Jodhpur and you won't believe this. Little kids recognise me as the guy in 'Aparichit'. And since I've lost substantial weight right now for Shankar's 'I', they're asking, 'What happened to you?' But I am doing it very carefully, no steroids or other substance to mould my physique."