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Hazare Haazir Ho!

Tuesday, October 04, 2016
By Chaitanya Padukone

Were you aware that the social activist-crusader Anna Hazare (real name Kisan Baburao Hazare) known for his adamant ‘hunger strikes’, was initially inducted into the Indian Army and served the nation as a tough soldier. This and a string of  little-known anecdotes from the life and times of  Hazare have been incorporated into a slick biopic titled ‘Anna’ .

The scripting of the biopic directed by  writer-actor Shashank Udapurkar was started three years ago. The shooting concluded in July, this year.  Incidentally, the  ‘Anna’ cast also includes winsome Tanishaa Mukherjee (Kajol’s sister) and Rajat Kapur. Reveals actor Shashank, “For getting into the skin of  his  iconic persona, I lost around 8 kgs to play the role of young trim ‘Anna’ who was in the Army surviving on salads, oats and fruits.

Later on, I put on almost 12 kgs to look like the ‘Anna’ of today. This dramatic transformation happened over a couple of months. Actually I have avoided resorting to prosthetics. But instead I have been slogging hard to get the perfect look,” smiles Shashank. Did the actor connect with the real-life Hazare, during the making of this movie. “Of course, my personal interactions with ‘supportive’ Anna helped me with the ‘prep’,” he shrugs. Has Shashank shown ‘Anna’ the ‘first look’ of the ‘biopic’ . “ Yes, I did show ‘Anna’ some of the  ‘working stills. After he saw them he complimented me, as he felt I resembled him a lot,” he signs off.

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