Indo-Brit actor opens up about playing Osama in 'Zero Dark Thirty'
British actor Ricky Sekhon, who portrayed Osama bin Laden in the film 'Zero Dark Thirty', has admitted that playing the role of the terrorist was worrying.
The 29-year-old, who is of Indian descent and is 6-foot-4 and describes himself as "the least dangerous person I know", said that he got the part after being called to audition for a role the casting director was not allowed to name.
"I think I was asked about my height a few times, and that made me think, 'OK, I'll be playing a tall man or woman,' " the New York Post quoted him as saying.
"But I wasn't fooling myself. My span of film castings have consisted of either terrorist, drug dealer, drug addict, heavy, henchman, large man, very tall man. I think it's something to do with how I look," he said.
He was told that he would be portraying bin Laden only after the role was his.
"There were a few sleepless nights, to say the least," he said.
"I don't care how much confidence you have, hearing news like that will really put the s--t into you if you're planning on taking it seriously, which I was," he said.
On his own initiative, he spent eight weeks preparing for the terrorist's role.
He read books about the Middle East and terrorism by Peter Bergen, Reza Aslan, Jason Burke and others. He learned basic Arabic with the help of language CDs. He even slimmed down while on a trip to Jamaica, running up hills in the morning heat and eating a diet mostly of fresh fish.
He said that he hesitated to tell people around him that he had gotten the role "for fear of being thrown off the project."
"But I told my mum, dad and my girlfriend, because they would see me doing strange things during my preparation," he said.
"They were very glad for me, as they know I'm happiest when I'm acting," he added.