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'Modi biopic most challenging role of my career'

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Undeterred by reports of a parallel film on Narendra Modi, actor and BJP MP Paresh Rawal says he is going ahead with a biopic on the prime minister's life and believes it will be the most challenging role of his career, in a tete-a-tew with Komal Panchamatia

Actor Vivek Oberoi recently announced a film on Modi that will be produced by his father Suresh Oberoi.

But that doesn't seem to have derailed Rawal's plan for his version of the Modi story that will see him in the role of the prime minister and will also be produced by him.

“It is the most challenging role of my career till date. I have a hunger for good roles. I want to be challenged and I am looking forward to this experience. We will start work this year itself," Rawal, who is also producing the film, told PTI in an interview.

The actor said the film is very much in development but did face some hurdles at the script and financial level.

"We are stuck at the script level and bit on the financial, production levels. I am producing it. We are going to do it, 100 per cent. I am playing Modi,” the BJP MP from Ahmedabad East said.

Rawal said he has not seen Vivek's much discussed look from the movie, which will be directed by Omung Kumar and is yet to go on floors.

"It (biopic) is all about getting closer to the real person. The basics are the same, white hair, beard and spectacles. (But) For me, it is about capturing his eyes, his anguish and the burning desire to take the country forward, his hatred for corrupt people. All this should reflect in the character,” the actor said.

Asked about veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah's comments about threats to freedom of speech in India, Rawal said everyone in the country can speak and express their opinion.

“He said that while he is living in this country and not somewhere outside. And even after saying it, nothing happened, he is safe. Had it been Pakistan can you say that? I think everyone here can speak and express their opinion. I rather get confused when people say such things.”

Rawal added that he does feel sad when anyone gets killed and is of the opinion that it is incorrect to politicise such untoward incidents.

His next release is “Uri: The Surgical Strike”, which releases this week.

Responding to the notion that it is a "propaganda film", Rawal said, "If we have done something good then we should be proud of it and we are showcasing that in a film. How is it a propaganda film? Pakistan came, attacked, killed our soldiers and we have taken revenge and given them a befitting reply.”

Rawal said he is furious when people raise doubts over the authenticity of surgical strikes, when Indian troops crossed into Pakistan on the intervening night of September 28-29, 2016, and smashed four launch pads that were under the guard of a Pakistani post located 700 metres from the LoC.

“Some even said Pakistan did not verify it. They are not going to accept that this has happened. Army has taken such a big step so instead of praising their work, one doubts their efforts,” Rawal said.

In "Uri", Rawal's role is said to be inspired by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Rawal, 68, says with films like “Uri…” one has to stay true to how the incident unfolded in real life.

“One can't fictionalise things and can't show it in a shallow way. They (army) accomplished success and one cannot play their efforts lightly.”

The film, also starring Vicky Kaushal and Yami Gautam, releases on Friday.

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