December 24, 2021 12:30:30 pm
83, the much-awaited film starring Ranveer Singh as Kapil Dev and Deepika Padukone as Romi Dev, released today. While fans are already going gaga over his strong portrayal of the fast-medium bowler and batsman who led India to its first Cricket World Cup victory in 1983, we just cannot get enough of the uncanny resemblance — especially the hair and moustache — of the actor to the legendary cricketer.
So when indianexpress.com got a chance to chat with Darshan Yewalekar, the celebrity hair designer who created Ranveer’s look for the film, we asked him all about the process — from the brief he got from director Kabir Khan, to ideation and the stunning final outcome, and his experience of working with the Simmba actor. Edited excerpts:
You have had a long association with Ranveer Singh, how would you describe working with him?
It’s a dream come true for an artist [like me], as Ranveer has a beautiful canvas [his hair] and the freedom he gives me to create looks is unlimited. Together, we put in 500 per cent to whatever project we are working on. There’s definitely a process that we have created while working together over the past decade, and I am always wondering, ’What next?’ when I am with him.
Ranveer always experiments with his looks. Is it challenging to match up to his energy and unconventional style preferences?
I started working with Ranveer during the making of Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela and I still remember our first magazine cover together. He came in and asked me, ‘what do you plan to do today?’ and I said, ‘something with curls’; and all he asked me after that was: ‘are you sure about it?’ and I nodded, ‘yes’. I think from that day onward, we formed an unspoken understanding that we would do something new every time we are together. There is a certain synchronisation in our energies and what connects us is that we are both equally passionate about our work.
Most recently, you collaborated with him for 83. What went behind creating Kapil Dev’s look on Ranveer?
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of such a mammoth and historic project. Kabir sir gave me a very straightforward brief during our first meeting — to replicate ‘the’ hair. We had to go through volumes of Kapil sir’s pictures to get every curl and wave right. We went through almost four to five look tests to achieve the precise ‘Kapil Dev look’. Then there was his classic moustache. I had to be very precise about how much to trim it, and that literally came down to slowly removing a single hair strand to make sure we got the look just right.
What was the most challenging aspect of recreating the look for the film?
It was to get the exact curls that Kapil sir sported during the 1983 World Cup. We had to make sure that Ranveer’s onscreen look was a complete replica of what Kapil sir looked like during that time.
What are the things you keep in mind when recreating looks for the big screen?
In the early days of my career, I used to be called on board about two to three weeks prior to a shoot and asked to lock the look for the mainstream actor. When I asked for a brief, all I was told was to ‘make him look like a hero’. Now, there is a lot that goes into designing hair, and over time, the nuances and detailing became part of the process, including an intense planning session on how to create the perfect look for the characters, based on the mood of the film and the character graph of the artists. I do extensive research when I am designing for period films and even break down the gene pool of the characters. Today, I not only style mainstream heroes but have designed hair for a film’s entire cast. I started with Quadi Band, then did Laal Kaptaan, and am currently working on the cast of Karan Johar’s Rocky aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani.
View this post on Instagram
From double ponytails, to a messy bun to long locks, Ranveer has often experimented with his hairstyles. What goes into taking care of them; his haircare routine?
No matter how demanding a process is, he is game for it and does not hesitate to go with the flow. Also, we do have a set routine for his hair where we make sure there is a timetable for regular trims and hair spas to keep the hair health in check.
Which has been your personal favourite look on/of him?
We experiment a lot during films but my personal favourites are the looks we create for editorial shoots. This is the place where both of us get to express ourselves fully as artistes. If we make a collage of the magazine shoots I’ve done for him, you’ll see the different hairstyles in each one.
Every decision is taken by me as we lock the look, based on the mood board. I speak to the photographer, to the stylists and once Ranveer arrives, I suggest the ideas that have emerged and he just brushes all doubts aside to say, “Yeah, go for it. If you’re confident, so am I”.
View this post on Instagram
When and how did your association with Ranveer begin?
I had been working with Salman sir for six years when I met Sanjay Leela Bhansali who then offered me an opportunity to work in his next film. That was the best memory, but then the next four years of my life were a real challenge. I got to see the dark side of the industry and really struggled. I even starved on most days and believed I had touched rock bottom. Then, I landed Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela and got introduced to Ranveer. Within 10 days of shooting, Ranveer offered me the chance to work on his next film Gunday and we never looked back. I’ve been with Ranveer ever since and he even calls me Sanjay sir’s gift to him!
The lockdown curbed access to salons and hairdressers — did you also give him virtual tips during the pandemic (how did that turn out)?
The first lockdown was a real break that we got as a team after many years. So while we took it easy, my only instruction for him was to regularly oil his hair and use this downtime to give deep nourishment to his scalp. For us, this was time to recuperate and slow down.
View this post on Instagram
Basic styling tips you’d like to give to men?
Start using a dryer to style your hair. Make sure you prep your hair with hair mousse or any good product before you blow-dry them. Also it’s very important to wash your hair at the end of the day to remove all styling products. Treat your hair to timely trims and don’t take hair health for granted.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.