Saurabh Shukla is gearing up for his next release Family of Thakurganj, which also stars Jimmy Sheirgill, Mahie Gill, Sudhir Pandey and Supriya Pilgaonkar.
Saurabh, who was in the studios of indianexpress.com, spoke in-depth about playing the antagonist and depiction of female characters in crime dramas.
Here are excerpts from the conversation
Q. What is Family of Thakurganj all about?
The film is based in a small town in the heartland of India. It might be a small town, but its thinking isn’t small. Everything that happens there can be represented in the country politically or otherwise. It has a family that has Jimmy (Sheirgill), around which the film revolves and there is a conflict within that family.
Q. How different is Baba Bhandari from your other characters?
As actors, we get stuck in generalisation a lot of times. For example, for a very long time, I was asked that I do a lot of gangster roles. Agreed. But is one gangster similar to the other gangster? We are very quick to generalise things. And I have faced this problem a lot of times. I did a gangster role and after that, is everything Kallu Mama? So as an actor, you need to understand and grasp the psyche of the character. What is he doing in the story? What is his story? What are his surroundings? And when you get that, you get into the character.
For this role, which was written by Dilip Shukla, I wanted to understand the character in the world which was created and I tried to bring some vulnerability to the character. For example, my character is a powerful antagonist. Now the depiction of that power after a point gets stereotyped. But in real life, people get vulnerable as well. You need to find that in the script, where the character will be powerful and vulnerable. That makes it a human character.
Q. How was it working with Jimmy Sheirgill in Family of Thakurganj?
Normally, people have the perception that in a scene with 3-4 actors, somebody will overshadow the other. But that’s not true. You are thrown on the same boat in the middle of the sea which can sink anytime if everybody doesn’t work together. So, it was great to work with a co-actor like Jimmy. When he is there, I feel so relaxed because I know if any glitch happens in the scene, Jimmy will manage well and then I will be able to do my job. So this is what makes actors work together. I don’t have any personal relation with him, but on set, you know this man knows his job. And that is wonderful.
Q. In the trailer, we also saw that the female characters of the film are fiery. What are your thoughts?
Female characters are a part of that story and they are telling a similar story. Like Mahi (Gill) says that ‘rangbaazi lagi rehni chahiye’ (fun should continue). It is a very male thing to do. I think it’s not about male or female. There are characters like this, and they are not born. They grow up like this.
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