Hair Designer Darshan Yewalekar shares how he transformed Ranveer Singh into the iconic Indian captain in 83
For hair virtuoso Darshan Yewalekar, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of a historic project like 83. The Kabir Khan directorial encapsulating the magic of India’s first World-Cup win has opened in theatres to rave reviews and Ranveer Singh’s performance has been greeted with a rapturous response for its note perfect authenticity.
Says Darshan, “At the heart of this story is of course Kapil Dev, the fearless skipper who made the impossible possible. The challenge hence for me was to transform Ranveer into Kapil sir and to ensure that he closely reflected the legend who made history when he lifted the trophy at the hallowed grounds of Lord’s! Every strand, every wave of hair needed to be perfect to recreate Kapil sir’s persona!”
Ranveer has been Darshan’s muse for over ten years and the two have worked on multiple films together but this was the first time they were striving to pay tribute to a living legend. Says Darshan, “When Kabir sir first met me, his brief was very straightforward. He just said, “Let’s replicate ‘the’ hair.” Ranveer and I knew we had to be as close as possible to how Kapil sir looked in 1983 and we went through volumes of vintage pictures and almost four to five look tests to get the famous curls right. Then there was his classic moustache. It had to be just right and it literally came down to slowly removing a single hair strand to make sure it looked as authentic as possible! And yes, it is absolutely real. I insisted that we avoid a fake moustache.”
The curls had to be devised artificially because it is hard to tweak natural hair to replicate the kind of volume and bounce Kapil Dev sported but it is to Darshan’s credit that it looks real. He says, “This is not to say that it was an easy process. There were a lot of conversations between Ranveer, Kabir sir and me and together, we ironed out the imperfections to ensure that we created not a caricature but a character with real gravitas and depth. All of us are obsessed with micro details and so we were open to continue experimenting till we nailed the final look. I am glad that we have been able to do justice to a very special chapter in our history.”
The process according to Darshan was challenging but rewarding. “It was a matter of great relief that the captain of the ship, Kabir Khan, was willing to give me time and space to get every detail just right for the overall look.” That all the work has paid of is a matter of great joy and pride for Darshan who cannot believe the amount of appreciation that is coming his way now.
He says, “The biggest compliment I have got from industry veterans is, ‘You have made it happen!’ The whole experience has been overwhelming to say the least, especially because it is relatively easier to work from one’s imagination but to replicate something that is part of everyone’s imagination just adds that extra pressure.”
Hair designer Darshan Yewalekar has been Ranveer Singh’s mane man since the beginning of his career, apart from styling superstars like Ranbir Kapoor and Salman Khan in the past. His filmography has spanned films like Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela, Dil Dhadakne Do, Bajirao Mastani, Gunday, Simmba, Padmaavat, Saawariya, Laal Kaptaan, Wanted, among others. His forthcoming projects include Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani where he is designing the hair for the entire star studded cast.