After a sabbatical of six years, Amrita Rao will be back on the silver screens as Meena Thackeray in upcoming film Thackeray, which is based on Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray. The actor plays Thackeray’s wife Meena in the biopic.
In an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com, Rao reveals how she had no option but to do the film. “Producer Sanjay Raut and director Abhijit Panse did not give me a choice. They narrated the story, closed the script and, in Marathi, they said that they have already imagined me as Maa Saheb (Bal Thackeray’s wife) and that I have to do it. I said ok then I will do it.”
The actor also remarked that being a part of Thackeray as Meena Thackeray was an honour. “To be honest, it was like an honour for me (to play the character). I have earned the image. I had a lot of choices and films coming from big banners. It is very attractive for anyone to work with big actors and banners. I have but on-screen demands are changing, and I had to decide if I want to stick to my comfort or continue,” she said.
While a lot has been spoken, written and documented about Bal Thackeray’s life, not much was known about Meena Thackeray’s persona. When we asked if it was challenging to become Maa Saheb on screen, Amrita said, “It was mostly knowing her personality traits and then gathering them and making a Maa Saheb of my own. When you are playing a real character, there are people associated emotionally with it. It is not a fictitious character. So, it comes with baggage and responsibility. I guess I did not choose to get overwhelmed or distracted by that but decided to focus on the character. All of this (portrayal of Meena Thackeray) was very new to me.”
Thackeray, produced by Sanjay Raut and directed by Abhijit Panse, stars Nawazzuddin Siddiqui in the lead role as Bal Thackeray. The film will hit theaters on January 25.