Actor Shreyas Talpade, who will next be seen playing Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the Kangana Ranaut directorial Emergency, recalls working in the film, doing research before playing his characters, and more.
Eighteen years after his breakout performance in Nagesh Kukunoor’s Iqbal, actor Shreyas Talpade continues to remain ever-so-relevant in today’s film world. Be it his rib-tickling standout moments in Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal franchise, or shining on his home turf (Marathi Industry) by producing and starring in pictures like Poster Boyz (2014). Good news for Poster Boyz fans, the sequel is underway.
Shreyas will be seen playing Atal Bihari Vajpayee-one of the towering figures of the Indian political landscape in Kangana Ranaut’s ambitious project titled, Emergency. The film takes inspiration from real-life political turbulence that occurred during the regime of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. This, by and large, encapsulates the willingness of Shreyas to explore the actor in him. By any means, playing a stalwart like Atal Bihari Vajpayee is no joke. It should be played with earnestness to capture the roaring spirit of the leader.
“Kangana was the one who saw me as Atal ji in Emergency,” said Shreyas, recalling how it had all begun. Reassuringly, he remarked that Kangana was one of the major reasons why he signed up for the project. “I’m really happy and thankful to her for offering me the part.”
The Golmaal actor told us that growing up, he has always known Atal Bihari Vajpayee as an able-minded politician, and a marvellous poet. The helmer and star of the film, Kangana Ranaut, provided Shreyas with a great deal of research material pertaining to the Emergency period to give him a sense of the dynamism of the leaders.
“For me, I like doing a lot of research and homework,” shared the Iqbal actor. “I also do my own practice sessions. I want to know each and every aspect of the character. Be it a true story or a fictional character. I try and gather as much information about the person as possible. Now that I come from a theatre background, I believe in rehearsals. Playing Atal Ji was a huge responsibility. He was one of the few leaders who was loved, respected, and revered across India. I was nervous, but my director Kangana made my job easier. When the director has a clear vision of what he/she wants, it makes the actor’s job easy.”
Despite putting in a lot of effort into playing their parts, not many actors get their due credit. The fear is always getting appreciation from your cast and crew, and the audience not paying heed to it. Only the applause of an audience can quench an actor’s thirst. No amount of awards and honours will do the job.
“Whether I cracked the role or not is something that the audience will have to decide once they watch the film. I have tried my best and try to do justice in the best way. I’ve done whatever the director asked me to do. Eventually, it is the audience which decides whether I excel in the role or not. If you feel I’ve done well in the film, all thanks to Kangana,” expressed the actor.
Speaking of Kangana, Shreyas said, “We’ve all seen how terrific she is as an actor. We’ve also seen the kind of exceptional work she had done over the years. We know the kind of talent she is, but what pleasantly surprised me was her directorial abilities. She is exceptional behind the camera and to execute a subject like the Emergency is phenomenal. And to execute it with such professionalism is something that we need to learn from her.”
Successes and failures, the star says, teach one a lot of things. Changing scenarios in society and your own economics of life teach you a lot, according to Shreyas. “Changing relationships and friendships according to time teaches you a lot of things. Once you become a parent, it teaches you a lot of things. We end up using all these life experiences in work. That’s how it’s been in my case. I still try and keep talking to my friends, gurus, and people in general. I try to gather as much information about what is happening and what is changing in society and use it in my work. You change and adapt with the times because change is the only thing that is constant.” The Welcome to Sajjanpur actor never allowed stardom to get to his head. In conversation with us, he told us that he always considered himself to be an actor first and then a star.
“If I start believing that I’m not meant for a particular role or project, that’s where I start getting frustrated. I would love to embark upon the opportunity for its quality but not merely because of some imaginary stardom in my head. I would rather enjoy my phase as an actor and not get tired of my work,” signed off the thespian.