Playing Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj comes with a lot of responsibility, feels Sharad Kelkar. The actor essays the Maratha ruler in “Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior“.
Sharad Kelkar revealed he was quite shocked when he was approached for the role by director Om Raut. “Honestly, when Om called me and said I want you to play Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, it came as a shocker to me. That time I felt a lot of pressure because Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is worshipped as God by Maharashtrians. Playing a character like this comes with a lot of responsibility and you can’t really go wrong with any of the factors around him — his look, his way of walking, his lines, his attitude. All these came to my mind in a span of 30 seconds,” he recalled.
Based on the life of brave Maratha leader Tanaji Malusare, “Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior” stars Ajay Devgn in the title role. Sharad shared that he was extremely comfortable working with the superstar, who treats him like a younger brother.
“A few years ago, I did a TV show where Ajay sir and Kajol were judges and I was the host. We bonded quite well on the sets. He likes me and treats me like a younger brother. He had recommended my name for ‘Baadshaho’, too. He always takes care of his co-actors. He will never make you feel that he is a big star and will make you comfortable on the set. Working with him is fun,” he gushed.
Sharad is in a happy space given his choice of roles over the past six months, but at the same time he is concerned about his fitness. He shared: “In terms of work, my past six months were great. From ‘The Family Man’ to ‘Housefull 4’ to ‘Rangbaaz Phir Se’ to ‘Tanhaji’, it has been fantastic. In terms of fitness, it has been the worst time. A lot of injuries happened and the weather keeps changing. So, I’m falling sick every month. I will work on my fitness now.”
The actor is currently preparing for the Akshay Kumar-starrer “Laxmmi Bomb” as well as his Tamil debut flick, which is expected to release in August. He has a couple of web shows lined up as well.
With so much in his kitty, how satisfied is he as an actor? Sharad replied: “An actor can’t be satisfied. That’s a problem with actors. And I am a very greedy actor. I always want more. On satisfaction, I must mention one thing — I am quite happy that people don’t think of me as a negative guy anymore. They are experimental and trying me out in different avatars. Earlier, the perception was big guy with a heavy voice must have a negative role!”