Sushant Singh Rajput is a busy man these days. The Bollywood star is definitely in the big league now, with two major movies set to hit the big screen — MS Dhoni: The Untold Story releases at the end of this month and Raabta hits cinemas on Valentine’s Day, next year. GQ India caught up with the actor at the India launch of Tissot’s new watch, Le Locle Regulateur, in Delhi to talk fitness, playing Dhoni and the story behind the insane triple clap push-up.
You’ve said in a recent interview that you had to train like a soldier for the Dhoni biopic, in order to achieve the physique and stamina of a cricketer. How has it been different- training to play the legendary cricketer and training for Raabta?
SSR: The most important thing for an actor is to convince himself that he is the character, that’s where you start from. For MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, he is so fit that I had to train for a year. ForRaabta… there’s a portion where I play a warrior. I had to look and be extremely fit. So, there were two different… based on the characters I’m playing.
That triple clap push-up video on Instagram was nuts. What’s your daily workout like? Have you joined the Pilates bandwagon?
SSR: Not yet. Some of my close friends have picked it up and are definitely reaping the benefits. But my workouts largely depend on how I’m supposed to look for a movie… like in Dhoni, I had to put on weight in a very different way. I had to be fit and put on muscle mass. And for Raabta, I needed to look super fit and very, very ripped… a body that’s not made in the gym lifting weights. I had to look lean, and that’s where diet comes in. When I began my career in theatre, I was training myself in kung fu, so all that acrobatics you see in my 30-day fitness videos on Instagram, I think I picked it up from there.
As for the three clap push-up, that was the first time I did it. During those 30 days, I was on a very strict diet and training very hard. I used to do two clap push-ups, that day I thought to myself, ‘okay, now that you’ve trained yourself for over 30 days let’s see what you can do..
Your go-to warm up exercises?
SSR: I do a mix of kick-ups with fly push-ups. A combinations of a fly push-up and your kick-up… 50 of those.
Your go-to cheat meal.
SSR: I love biryanis. Jalebi, ice creams and lots and lots of chocolates. Hyderabadi biryani is my favourite.
Speaking of your collaboration with Tissot, have you always been a fan?
SSR: Yes, there’s a strange amalgamation of what is relevant and what is ancient in Tissot. Especially in this particular watch I’m wearing today, The Le Locle Regulateur. It’s a nod to the original “Regulateur”, a clock that was used in workshops in the 18th and 19th century as a reference to check the accuracy of pocket watches.
What was your first Tissot watch? Tell us more about your watch collection… how many timepieces do you have?
I have about 36 watches. My first Tissot watch was a Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Quartz. Now I have the classic Le Locle Regulateur too.
My first watch was an HMT Asha, a gift from my great-grandfather. It must have cost about 350 bucks back then, but I still have it to this day. You got a bit nostalgic at the launch this morning taking about your first watch — a gift from your father. Do you still have it?
SSR: Oh yes. It was a pocket watch passed down to my father from his father. It wasn’t branded or anything. A simple pocket watch with a white dial.