Candid chat with Mahesh Thakur

Veteran TV and film actor Mahesh Thakur is elated at getting the chance to play Prime Minister Modi in Eros Now’s 10-episode web biopic on the life of the above leader. He will reprise Modi’s life from when he took over as Chief Minister of Gujarat, to becoming PM in 2014.

“We will focus more on the unknown personal human aspects of Mr Modi. The shooting, which is going on all over Gujarat, should wrap up by 15th March,” says Mahesh, who played an important role in Ishqbaaz.

He has no idea about the release dates. “Eros will be better placed to answer this question.”

Can it be out on the world wide web before the April-May Lok Sabha election? “Again, like I said, I have no clue. Also, logistically, it seems a challenge to complete the exhaustive post production, which is huge, given the lavish scale of the project.”

So how did you approach the character? “I followed a lot of Mr  Modi’s speeches and TV grabs, to understand his body mannerisms and language. I always surrender myself to the director (Umesh Shukla), for he or she has totally imbibed the subject, given the amount of time and effort they give to the project. Well-written dialogues also made my job a tad easier.”

This is Mahesh’s second biopic. Last year, he had portrayed the late Pune-based spiritual leader, Sadhu Vaswani.

Politically neutral Mahesh does not want to comment on Mr Modi’s policies. “He is a great man and I’m proud of our PM. But being an actor, I prefer to focus on my craft and on portraying the given character to the best of my ability, and nothing else. But yes, having studied the well-crafted and researched script, I can surely say that he is a blessed soul for having achieved so much in life. I am honoured to have got this chance.”

In closing, he does admit that given the highly polarised atmosphere, he will be trolled, no matter what. “So, to those who praise me, I will say thank you; and to those who attack me for doing this role, I will also thank them, along with a request to watch the episodes to understand the whats and whys.”

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