Well-known character actor Anjan Srivastav is excited about his next film, a political satire, as his role is inspired by former prime minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He says it took him time to understand the nuances of the character.
Directed by Bablu Sheshadri, the film is tentatively titled ‘Democrazy’, which might change to ‘Lokyantra’.
‘The character sketch that my director gave me sounded similar to Atal Bihari Vajpayee. After that, I took utmost care to give in my best shot because at the end of the day, I was playing somebody and I didn’t have the leverage to give my personal touches,’ Srivastav told IANS.
‘When the costume designer got me a white kurta-pajama, I showed him Atalji’s pictures and told him to make the jacket that he used to wear and the dhoti. When my audience will see me, they will find 90 percent Atalji in me.’
Vajpayee was known for his oratory, he used to speak in poetic manner and Srivastav found imitating that distinct style difficult.
‘Delivering dialogues in a similar way like Atalji was not easy. In the initial days, I was trying my best to get the hang of it. I also had to be very cautious so that I don’t hurt anyone’s sentiments. Like Atalji is fond of poems, you will see my character giving lyrical touches from time to time.’
Srivastav, who started his career with theatre and gave his life to it, is known for his television series ‘Wagle Ki Duniya’ where he played the lead role, apart from ‘Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi’ (1984) and ‘Nukkad’ (1986).
He also acted in Mira Nair’s ‘Salaam Bombay!’ (1988) and ‘Mississippi Masala’(1991) and Shah Rukh Khan starrer ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’(1993) and ‘Chak De! India’(2007).
Srivastav says at 63 he has been lucky to be acknowledged for his talent.
‘At the age of 63, you can’t expect me to run behind directors and scripts. But by god’s grace I have made a mark in the industry which brings the scripts right at my doorstep. And honestly, when you start getting old it is a worry to keep your place intact, but I have been lucky to be in the forefront.’
The actor doesn’t mind doing smae roles again and again.
‘What matters to me when I sign for a specific project is the conviction and confidence. I follow Balraj Sahni’s way of leading life. I try to capture myself in the character and see if I can do it with confidence. That’s all that matters. I don’t have a problem to repeat any role again because I know I can carry it off and give it a different angle,’ sayd Srivastav who will play a minister again in his upcoming project ‘Joker’.
‘I am doing two other films – ‘Joker’ and ‘Chodo Kal Ki Baatein’. In ‘Joker’, which features Akshay (Kumar) and Sonakshi (Sinha), I will be playing a village development minister. It is not a very long role, but is prominent to the script.
‘The other film ‘Chodo Kal Ki Baatein’ is being directed by Pramod Joshi and stars Anupam Kher. Other than that I am doing a daily soap on Star Plus ‘Maike Se Bandhi Dor’.’