Anna Ji’s compliment is very special: Shashank

Anna Ji’s compliment is very special: Shashank

Actor-Director Shashank Udapurkar, who played the lead role in biopic ‘Anna’ believes that the simplicity like Anna Hazare can only be gained through following his ideology.

Jaideep Pandey in conversation with Shashank.



Anna complimented you for your job. How does it feel? 

It feels really good and very special. Anna Ji was happy with the way the whole film has been shorted as it resembles the real journey of his life. 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.

From younger to older, how hard was the Transformation?

Its was not really tough while shooting the early days of Anna Hazare but it became a tough job to do when people started knowing Anna as a social activist. It was not easy job to become as simple as Anna Ji and practiced alot for it. 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.


You wrote the script, directed it and also played the lead role. Which one is the most demanding?

I would say that all the three are an important part of good cinema and I will say that the biggest success is when you are able to write the script as per the demand of the subject and at the same time it’s the biggest help for the director because it becomes easy for the director to grasp it realistically, encouraging him to portray the subject in the best possible manner. I will say that if the the director is able to understand the thought of the writer and the same gets conveyed to the actor then it becomes very easy to portray the whole story into a film. In my case I would say that since I was the one who wrote the script so it became easy for me to portray, as you know that many people said it was quite similar to Anna Ji.

All the three jobs were difficult in there own way but I will say that I enjoyed writing the script a lot because at that time there was no pressure on me. Also the shooting was quite tough as we shooted mostly on real locations under -16 to -20C in Ladhak  and under the hot temperature of 48-49 degrees, but it was because of Anna Ji and the inspiration that he is, we enjoyed each and every moment while shooting.

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. Any plans of doing comedy or a romantic thriller?

I want to to work on different characters. I like comedy a lot as I am a part of Marathi theater and so I have done quite some comedy. It’s an art which is tough to do but makes you enjoy a lot and so I would definitely want to work on different angles in the future. At this time 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.

Are you open to negative roles in future?

Yes. I would like to shock my audience in future with the kind of roles I can play.

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Jaideep Pandey is a Senior Consultating Editor at Dramatic India and a Freelance Journalist associated with many leading dailies. He has been covering Politics and Bollywood for more than 7 years. You can connect with him on #Twitter: @PandeyJaideep

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