Ranveer in a still from Padmaavat Image: YouTube/Viacom 18 Motion Pictures
Sit any actor down and ask them who is the one person they will completely, and I mean completely, submit themselves to on a film set, and I can assure you it won't be the director (well, in essence they do). But that blindly trusted person will always be the make-up artist.
You could be the busiest guy in business, juggling between script-readings and building a rocket, but once you’re on that chair, stay calm and let the expert do his/her job. Well, we can imagine that must have been the scene in Ranveer Singh’s make-up room while he was transitioning into Alauddin Khilji. Or when Deepika Padukone was dressed up to be Rani Padmavati, for that matter.
So, who is this person, apart from Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who had this kind of power over these superstars? Meet Preetisheel Singh, the National Award-winning make-up and prosthetics specialist, who literally worked wonders on Ranveer, Deepika, Shahid Kapoor and the entire cast of SLB’s magnum opus, Padmaavat.
“For the regular looks, it took around 90 minutes each for Ranveer, Shahid and Deepika,” Preetisheel started off, adding, “But for the war sequences and other heavy looks, it would take more than 120 minutes for each of them separately.” Phew! That’s two hours every day, and you were wondering why we refer to every work of SLB's as a magnum opus.
Back in 2017, when Ranveer shared the first look of the character that has now given him a cult status on a par with the Gabbars and Mogambos of Indian cinema, netizens jumped up to point out strong similarities with the get-up of GoT heartthrob, Khal Drogo, a nomadic king played by Jason Mamoa. According to Preetisheel, however, “It was just a coincidence that Ranveer's real beard grew in a shape similar to Khal Drogo's. But to be honest, it was not at all used as reference.” So there Internet, are you happy now?
Alright, we had to ask, was it extra difficult to sit Ranveer down for make-up every day, given the fact that he’s so jumpy all the time? And Preetisheel revealed a side of our in-house Khilji that makes us love him even more. “However naughty and mischievous Ranveer comes across in his movies and interactions with the media, let me tell you that he is one of the most dedicated and highly professional actors when it comes to work. He would imbibe the persona of Alauddin Khilji the moment we would begin the look transformation. The make-up, hair and prosthetics would take several hours, and most of the time he would patiently stare into the mirror, completely immersed in the character. By the time his look was done, he would walk, talk and behave like Khilji, even before he reached the camera.”
Ranveer, too, is all praises for Preetisheel, who has worked with him on Bajirao Mastani earlier. When a Twitter fan asked Ranveer about how he got his evil look as Khilji in Padmaavat so bang on, the actor promptly replied: "Umm. Well Preetisheel and Sanjay Sir should be given credit for the look, really. Baaki I internalised... some.... err... dark shit... and every expression, mannerism, the whole vibe and energy of the character just followed as a result."