Late Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who died after committing suicide at his residence in Bandra on Sunday, won everyone's heart by potraying the role of former Indian skipper and wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni on the silver screen.
Though Sushant could not play like the experienced cricketer in real life, he played Dhoni well in Bollywood movie MS Dhoni--The Untold Story.
However, the process of potraying the character of India’s most decorated cricket captain on the big screen was not at all an easy one. The young actor took his time to master Dhoni's craft and slowly and steadily re-modelled himself as the former Indian skipper.
From spending almost nine months with former Indian wicketkeeper Kiran More to battling the enormous pressure of replicating Dhoni's magic on the big screen, Sushant left no stone unturned to do justice to the character.
However, one of the most difficult actions of Dhoni for Sushant was replicating the wicketkeeper-batsman's trademark helicopter shot.
In order to excel the role, Sushant had asked Dhoni's childhood coach Keshav Banerjee to teach him the famous helicopter shot.
Banerjee, whose role was played by veteran actor Rajesh Sharma in the movie, told IANS that in order to potray Dhoni's role well, Sushant asked him to teach the helicopter shot and the wicketkeeper-bastman's mannerisms while playing it.
"He was after me, the way Mahi used to play it, what were his facial expressions. He was so focussed. Single minded determination. That's why it came out so well. You could not tell it was not Dhoni. Today I have only memories, and I really am in utter shock," Banerjee said.
Kiran More, on the other hand, recalled that Sushant was used to be treated like any other cricketer at the nets when he was preparing for MS Dhoni's biopic.
"We used to have normal practice sessions. He was treated as a normal cricketer at the nets. The fast bowlers would bowl to him. We started off with a tennis ball. But there was no compromise later as he became more confident.I had to take care of his face as he was an actor. He did not have any such cricketing background. He was hit so many times on the face and body, but he never complained or gave up," More said.
Sushant, who was 34-year-old at the time of his death, began his acting career with television. He debuted with the TV show ‘Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil’ and followed it up with Ekta Kapoor's hit show 'Pavitra Rishta', which made him an overnight star,
Born on January 21, 1986 in Patna, Sushant made his Bollywood debut with 'Kai Po Che!' in 2013 and later followed it up with films like 'PK', 'MS Dhoni: The Untold Story', 'Kedarnath', 'Sonchiriya' and 'Chhichhore' among others. He was next to be seen in 'Dil Bechara'.
Just a few days ago, the actor had mourned the death of his former manager Disha Salian. She had reportedly committed suicide by jumping off the 14th floor of a building in Mumbai's Malad.
(With inputs from IANS)