Re-blogged from Get Surrey authored By Russell Butt on February 01, 2013
A ROYAL Holloway graduate is appearing on cinema screens across the world playing al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.
The film, by director Kathryn Bigelow who also made the Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker, has been nominated for five Academy Awards and focuses on the CIA’s decade-long hunt for bin Laden.
Although featuring only very briefly in the film, Sekhon did not know the extent to which his character would be shown, so he carried out weeks of preparation including reading books about bin Laden, losing 25 pounds in weight and learning basic Arabic.
He described immersing himself in the character of the world’s most hated terrorist as “eye-opening”.
He added: “I concentrated on details and specific character references.
“My diet and exercise regime affected my mood quite a bit, but all of the reading I was doing was a good distraction.
“I am committed to my work but would not let it affect my personal life to a large extent.
“I picked through all of the literature I was reading to try to build a coherent account and character of the man I was playing.
“I was lucky to have such a talented hair and make-up department.
“After two hours in the chair, the transformation was complete and it was a lot easier for me to find focus and begin to channel the mindset and internal impulses of bin Laden.”
Sekhon graduated from the Egham university in 2004 and this role was not the first time he had played a controversial character, having also appeared as the Islamist preacher Abu Hamza in the 2010 comedy The Infidel.
He landed the role of bin Laden after a casting director called him out of the blue.
He said: “It was a fantastic experience working with people on Zero Dark Thirty who are the best at what they do.
“It was an extremely professional, creative, brave work environment, but also a really fun one. I certainly learned a lot.”
Unfortunately for Sekhon, his main involvement in the movie was during the scene of bin Laden’s death at the hands of the Americans in 2011