Actor Sharad Kelkar is surprised that the audience is still hesitant to return to the cinema theatres, although other areas of the hospitality and entertainment industry have started to open up, post Covid lockdown.
“People have started going to pubs, coffee shops, restaurants, weddings and even to places like Goa on vacation. People are partying big time, so I don’t know why they are not going to the theatres,” Sharad told IANS.
“Theatres are much safer, and also there is 50 per cent occupancy. Theaters are regularly cleaned and sanitised. This is one of the biggest industries we have, and it is dependent upon the audience. So I’d request everyone that if you can party, you can also go to the theatre,” he added.
Quizzed about how the pandemic and lockdown have affected him, the actor said: “I am known as a workaholic in my friend circle. I am active and love to run around all the time. This pandemic taught me patience. Sitting at home doing nothing was a new experience for me for the first time in the last 18 years that I started working. Not going out to work and not meeting people was initially a little depressing but ultimately I understood that in life you need to be a little patient!”
Sharad, who impressed all playing Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Ajay Devgn’s blockbuster film Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior last year, reveals he had rejected historical roles for almost 15 years of his acting career.
“I have been getting offers for historical shows right from my initial years when I started doing TV, due to my voice, height and physical structure. But I was always afraid of doing it. There was a fear of having to wear a lot of costumes, which I thought would be tedious. So I almost avoided historical roles for 15 years,” he said.
About Tanhaji and his role in the film, he said: “I never knew a historical film would give me so much appreciation and establishment in the industry. So, I proved myself wrong!”
On the work front, Sharad turns narrator for the upcoming animated series, The Legend Of Hanuman. He will also feature in the Ajay Devgn-starrer Bhuj: The Pride Of India and the forthcoming web series The Family Man 2.