During the afternoon hours, I don’t go for recces anymore. I have been asked to take care of my skin and health since I started shooting for Kon Honar Crorepati (Marathi version of the popular television game show Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC)),” says filmmaker Nagraj Manjule (pictured). For the 41-year-old director, the process of becoming the host of the much-anticipated show has been “quite enjoyable”.
“Earlier, I would work long hours and probably not get enough sleep. I hardly spent time in front of the mirror. All that changed after I started hosting this show. Now, I pay attention to my diet and try to get at least eight hours of sleep,” says Manjule, the director of Sairat (2016) and Fandry (2013). With this show, Manjule will be venturing into the television space for the first time. “I have acted in some Marathi movies. Still, I’m aware of my limitations while facing the camera. I believe, this is the only show I can host,” he adds.
Manjule, who has always been fond of music and poetry, has also sung the title track of the show. “I don’t think I’m a great singer but I have always enjoyed singing,” he says. The writer-director, considered to be one of the best known names in the contemporary Marathi cinema, was roped in by the show’s producers as they wanted to introduce a fresh face as its host.
Ajay Bhalwankar, business head, Sony Marathi, believes that Manjule was the right choice as it is about giving hope. “Manjule is known for giving breaks to new talent and has always created a ‘hero’ out of the common man. That’s the connect he has with people,” he says. The first two seasons of Kon Honar Crorepati were hosted by actor Sachin Khedekar and Swapnil Joshi respectively.
His next directorial outing is Jhund, which will be his first Hindi movie. A sports film featuring Amitabh Bachchan in the lead, it’s based on the life of Vijay Barse, founder of NGO Slum Soccer. “I have always been a fan of Bachchan sir and to work with him is a dream come true,” says Manjule. So will there be possible comparisons with Bachchan? Manjule says, “It’s an unfair comparison. I am not trying to be like him on the show. That’s impossible.”