I gained 6 kilos to portray Rustom: Shohel Mondol
Shohel Mondol is an actor who passionately showcases his talent on the stage and screen. In Hoichoi's "Boli", directed by Shankha Dasgupta, he plays the protagonist, Rustom. In a heart-to-heart conversation, Shohel spoke about his journey of becoming the character, his love for new challenges, and more.
For "Boli", Shohel had to come out of his comfort zone to look physically fit and convincing in the role of a boxing champion. The story of the web series, however, takes sharp twists and turns in a spaghetti western fashion in Cheradia Dwip, a lawless land where power prevails.
"I trained with fight director Edward F Gomes to develop the physique for Rustom. I gained six kilos in 12 days. Eating four to five times a day and following a diet rich in protein and fruits were definitely not in my regular routine. Eating became a challenge," laughed Shohel. Furthermore, he went through six to seven hours of combat training and script rehearsals, before he focused on character development.
"I wanted to give this project my all. It has been an incredible learning process. I trained for boxing, fighting, and arms handling. All the actors involved were given training, and we did our own stunts," he shared. "The locals swarmed in to watch the fight scenes. It might sound naïve, but it felt good because we grew up with the fantasy and curiosity of watching a shoot, and looking for the hero."
Rustom, Shohel's character, is raised by a single mother, played by Kazi Roksana Ruma. The respect Rustom has for women gives this rough and tough man his humanity. Shohel shared that he had a great time working with his co-stars on "Boli", which was shot across Kuakata, Barisal, and Manikganj.
While Chanchal Chowdhury and Shohel played friends in Hoichoi's hit series, "Taqdeer", in "Boli", they are playing rivals.
Talking about his childhood hero Clint Eastwood, Shohel said he never wanted to imitate anyone's style. "Boli has a spaghetti western flavour to it, but its world is unique. It would be wrong to say I was inspired by Clint Eastwood for this role, but perhaps I could call it a tribute to him."
Currently, Shohel is working on a handful of projects, including one with director Kaushik Sankar Das. He also recently garnered attention for a power drink commercial. Shohel hopes that his two films, Indranil Roychowdhury's "Mayar Jonjal" and Mejbaur Rahman Sumon's "Hawa" will be released early next year.