It feels very special because the films involves the hard work of nearly 4 years. Before this I have also done Marathi movies but I can say that in every artist’s character there is a character that makes him or her passionate and no doubt Anna was the same for me. At the same time I was also very conscious about the role and its end result because there was much difference between the age and experience. And I remember Anna Ji saying that many a times even he thought that he is sitting there.
Anna Ji said that the way in which the whole film has been shorted resembles the real journey of his life and at the same time he also added that your performance made feel as if he himself is acting on the set. Hazare Ji was very satisfied with the way in which we tried to portray his whole life journey and that also made him quite emotional many a times bringing tears to his eye.
How difficult was the Transformation?
First of all there was the need of physical transformation as we featured his life journey from the age of 20 to 75. I also loosed wait to play his early days and later increased to show his later days. Also there was alot requirement for transformation at the mental level as to show how an army main increased and gained confidence in himself. But I thing the toughest was to play when people starts to know him as the activist and at the same time bringing the kind of simplicity that Anna Ji always has on his face was also a tough job. But later I felt that you can’t practice for bringing the simplicity like Anna and that it was only possible through believing in his ideology. In short, you need to live Anna Hazare Ji to be simple like him.
So, did you spent sometime with Anna?
Anna Ji remain very busy in his village Ralegan Siddhi. It was tough to meet him as he was not keen on getting a movie on his life. When we first met him he said that why are you making film on me, instead you should be making it on Gandhi Ji or Vivekananda. So I told him that there is no doubt that Gandhi and Vivekananda was great but our generation has seen you from the day one and when I look at you, the place that you have achieved despite being not very educated I feel that following your path the younger generations will take inspiration from you. And that he also want to wake up the youth and inspire them and through the film I want to convey his dream to today’s youth and be a part of his mission. I remember briefing him on his on different events of his life journey for more than 3 hours and after which he also felt little surprised. Interestingly we changed the draft for 8 times in order to portray his whole life and its each and every event.
Theater or Bollywood. Which is more demanding.
Theater ka apna Anand Hai, but since at this point of time I am doing movies as writer, director and actor, theatre has become more challenging. And while doing Anna I got to know what it takes to do play a role under the camera and specially when it’s someone like Anna Hazare.
With movies like Sarabjit, Azhar, Dhoni and now Anna would you say that the audience is more interested in Biopics?
Exactly and I would say that in earlier days the space which was occupied by bookshelves has now been replaced by television. Life is running so fast that we have no time to read books and when the same thing is brought in form of visual, the audience connects more to it. Biopic is the AAENA of anyone’s life which can bring you a lesson and inspirations. Today’s cinema has changed and don’t just want to remain or follow one path.
So what’s next on the map?
I want to to work on different characters. There are some subjects in my mind including a biopic and a comedy. But there must be a presence of entertainment in every movie, be it a biopic, a comedy or any other genre for that matter.
Negative roles in future?
Yes. I am very much open to it and would like to shock my audience with the kind of roles I can play.