Difficult as it may be to imagine him as a paan-chewing, Bhojpuri-speaking goon, Sidharth Malhotra appears to have pulled off the role with conviction in Jabariya Jodi.
Slipping into the part didn't come easy for the actor — Malhotra says he worked with language coach Ajay Singh to perfect the Bhojpuri dialect for the Parineeti Chopra starrer.
"Since Abhay [his character] is from Patna, it was [imperative] that I speak in Patnaiyya Hindi. I had a tutor who helped me pick up the dialect in two months. I have deliberately kept it [the pronunciation] subtle as it's a Hindi movie at the end of the day and people need to understand what I am saying," says Malhotra, excited to attempt a film that is far removed from his previous fares.
Having understood early on that the love story set in the heartland could help him break the mould of an urban guy, the actor was only too happy to go beyond the demands of the script.
"I [gave my inputs for] the styling — be it the earring on my left ear, colouring my hair or even wearing a gamchha. I belong to the school of thought where acting is a technical department — if you are hired as an actor, you have to bring something to the table that goes beyond the scene."
Though his filmography includes collaborations with seasoned filmmakers like Karan Johar and Neeraj Pandey, Malhotra says first-time directors bring a fresh voice.
"Since Prashant [Singh] is a first-time director, we spent a lot of time brainstorming. I shared my past experiences with him. Also, he is from Bihar; so, he helped us perfect the language."