Describing his first day at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), newly-appointed chairperson, veteran actor Anupam Kher says that he interacted with the students not from a position of authority but in a friendly manner that disarmed them.
Anupam replaced veteran actor Gajendra Chauhan as the chairperson of the esteemed government institute (which had been at the centre of conflict since Chauhan’s appointment in 2015) last week. The 62-year-old actor was a student at FTII, so going there as a chairperson 39 years after he graduated from the institute was a special feeling for Kher.
“I didn’t want to go there with the burden of being a part of cinema for 33 years. I was a student there 39 years ago, so it was wonderful to go there as a student and take everybody by surprise and take their defenses down. I walked from the main gate, had lunch with them (students), and also conducted two classes,” Anupam told mediapersons at the red carpet of Jio MAMI 19th Mumbai Film Festival closing ceremony.
Anupam Kher was asked if he would be able to take out the required time for his FTII duty, given he has many film projects and also his own acting academy (Actor Prepares institute) to cater to. The actor said he understands his responsibility as a FTII chairperson very well and he believes the fact that he is a working actor and also a producer (with recently released Ranchi Diaries), he will bring a lot of additional value to the institute.
“A busy man has time for everything. I understand the sense of responsibility. I am a working actor. I am not someone, who has retired from acting and then got this job. I am a very happening actor, and I am going to take out time and my whole experience of being an actor, stage actor, teacher will add to what I will bring to FTII,” said Anupam.
Among his film projects, one that is highly anticipated is the biopic of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in which he stars in the lead role. When asked about the progress on the film, Anupam Kher said that the contract obligation did not allow him to speak about it but he was extremely excited to be a part of the project. A scribe also asked how easy or difficult it will be for him to play Manmohan, who is a Congress leader, when he, himself, is known as a Bhartiya Janta Party supporter. Kher smiled and replied, “I have done a lot of positive and negative characters in my career so I did not bring my interpretation to them. Please don’t put my acting upon a party.”
The film is an adaptation of Sanjay Baru’s controversial book The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh. It has been written by Hansal Mehta and will be directed by Vijay Ratnakar Gutte.