Emraan Hashmi talks about his mental and physical prep for Azhar

Emraan Hashmi talked about the mental and physical preparation he did for the film Azhar.

By BollywoodMDB Team - May 13, 2016

Emraan Hashmi starrer former Indian cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin's biopic Azhar hits the screens today. As of now, the film is getting positive response from the viewers going by the social media posts. The lead actor Emraan Hashmi opens up about the mental and physical preparation he did for this flick.

Emraan Hashmi talks about his mental and physical prep for Azhar

Some interesting insights on the life and times of the cricketer are shared by the actor. Talking about mastering the character, Emraan said "We started with a lot of research material put forth by the director of the film and his team. I had to work on that for the initial three-four months and that involved browsing through reports, interviews available on YouTube, etc. Imbibing and bringing alive his mannerisms, the way he plays cricket in real life was difficult. It was a completely different ball game, and took me at least six-seven months to crack a lot of things. (Azhar) trained me for over three months, etc. The other challenge was showing his emotional journey as a captain of the Indian team and his inner turmoil when there were allegations of match-fixing. A lot of mental prep had to be done,"

Emraan Hashmi feels that the cricket runs in his blood as the true Indian. He stated "I have always followed cricket very closely since childhood. However, I haven’t been able to follow it as closely as I do in the past 10-12 years because of my busy schedule. I keep going back to the days when Azhar, Sachin and Kapil Dev used to play. Those were the ‘glory days’ of cricket; there used to be certain frenzy and madness for the sport. It was the frenzy that I enjoyed the most, and there weren’t as many formats as we have today. Since I knew about the game, Azhar’s captaincy and his life, and the scandal, so I was very greedy to lap up what I got.”

Azharuddin taught the tricks of the trade and Emraan is grateful to the cricketer for this. Emraan shared "I have always been a gully cricketer, but I don’t have any technicalities. Luckily, Azhar bhai got down to train me in that part, and he was right there to teach me the nuances of the game. Practicing was a nerve- wrecking experience. My wrist used to hurt a lot after three long hours of playing and after 100-103 throw balls. There used to be a bucket of ice kept on the sets to dip my wrists. Earlier, I used to a lot of weight training but to prep for the film, I gave up on that and did athletic training for almost six-seven months. Since leg glance technique strains your nerves, I did a lot of yoga that helped in opening up my wrists,”

Emraan revealed some interesting facts about Azharuddin by saying "I didn’t know that he was so attached to his grandfather, and he deliberately orchestrated him getting into cricket, and he eventually fulfilled his promise. Azhar bhai tells me that there used to be a tree in his school, and he had a visual of his grandfather there with his hands folded and disciplining him. He used to be unforgiving when he missed a shot or didn’t play well. There are several such finer nuances about him that one can make at least a ten hour long movie on him, but we decided to take only the key moments of his life.”

Emraan Hashmi felt that few striking similarities he shares with Azharuddin. The actor said "I have seen a fair share of obstacles in my life like him. Azhar segregates his personal and professional lives, and similarly, I like to compartmentalise the two. He is very grounded and humble and I also strive to be the same.”

Directed by Tony D'Souza, the movie Azhar also features Prachi Desai and Nargis Fakhri in lead role.