Bombay Times Exclusive
Randeep Hooda met with an accident last month after he fainted while riding a horse, which led to a nasty fall. The actor was rushed to a hospital and was admitted for a few days. He injured his knee severely due to the fall. During the process of recuperating, he took to penning short stories. In an exclusive interview with Bombay Times, the actor opens up on his health, healing, and road to recovery. Excerpts:
There were various reports about your fall from your horse due to a fainting spell. What led to it?
It was because of weakness resulting from staying underweight for too long. I blacked out, and because of almost no muscles (due to weight loss), the knee got dislocated, damaging all the ligaments. I also had a small fracture.
What has helped you to heal and be positive during this recovery phase?
Family and friends have been there for me. I also have great support from my doctors, who are guiding me in the whole recovery process. But being an active person who loves working, riding horses and exploring jungles, staying at home almost tied to the bed or the chair has been the most difficult part. As I was already playing a writer in Swatantra Veer Savarkar saab’s biopic, writing short stories helped engage my mind positively. The fear of gaining too much weight due to revenge eating was a great source of worry, but I managed to keep that at bay with the help of my trainer Shane.
You are known for pushing the boundaries to get into the skin of the character. In the past, too, you have done it for the film Sarbjit. Has this second knee injury made you rethink the extreme physical transformation that you go through for your roles?
The only way I have learnt to work and enjoy my work is by pushing the boundaries. The opportunities that the process gives to experience more in life, gives me immense joy. However, the shooting of this movie (Swatantra Veer Savarkar) got delayed and I had to stay underweight for too many months and that had its consequences. Every passing year affects your metabolism, and most importantly, your resolve to attempt drastic body transformations and stick to it. There are times when one wonders if it’s even worth it. The decision on your effort’s worthiness is up to people, so I am doing it. When it feels like I’ve had enough, I’ll quit it completely. That’s highly unlikely, though.
Does all of this also take a toll on your mental health as well?
The knee injury is just the tip of an iceberg which I can share with people. The mental stress of doing this for such a prolonged period creates issues that are far worse than the physicality and harder to share. It’s probably harder on the ones around you.
You are acting and directing the Savarkar biopic. It’s bound to be stressful to manage that while nursing an injury.
When shall we see you back on set and on the horse?You must get back on the horse again if you fall off it. It’s the same with life and film roles. I have to buckle up (the knee) and lose weight again for the continuity in the film and have a go at it all over again. I am glad that I got to do a Sikh character in the series Cat and that the audience at large could relate to it. This is a year of varied projects, and I will be donning more hats than just that of an actor. I need my legs healed to carry out the responsibilities well.