Gandhi Aur Godse Actor Anuj Saini On Being An Outsider In The Industry | Bollywood

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Actor Anuj Saini, who has worked in various advertisements and music videos, makes his film debut with Rajkumar SantoshiGandhi Aur Godse Ek Yudh. In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, he recalls how nervous he was when he first met the filmmaker. (Also Read: Tushar Gandhi Responds to Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh)

“It was the time when Rajkumar first told the story of his film. So when I first met Rajkumar Santoshi, sir, I met a legendary filmmaker and I was very nervous. I was like ‘what shall I say “How shall I respond? and what should I not say?” However as soon as we sat down he put me so at ease I felt like I’d known him for ten years He made me feel like his son After that I was never nervous, (now) he’s like my family, a mentor and father (figure) in the industry.”

Anuj also said that Rajkumar is very cool, calm and composed on the sets and knows exactly what he wants from his actors. “He will tell, tell you how and what to do. It gets easy for us, his storytelling style is so unique that even the most difficult scenes look like a piece of cake. He has a hunger for perfection. He is also very patient.”

The film also marks the debut of Rajkumar’s daughter Tunisha Santoshi who is paired with Anuj. Asked about working with the director’s daughter, he said: “Tunisha Santoshi is there, but she was treated like everyone else (on the sets). No one could tell she was the director’s daughter. There was not a moment when I was reminded that she is the director’s daughter.”

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He added: “She’s very grounded and down to earth and hardworking, it didn’t seem like she was working on her first movie. She was treated like I was.”

Gandhi Aur Godse Ek Yudh explores the heated debate between two very different ideologies – Mahatma Gandhi and Nathuram Godse. The film is set in a world where Gandhi survived Godse’s attack and meets him in prison to discuss ideologies.

When asked if he was skeptical of backlash or criticism given the controversial subject matter of the film, Anuj said, “When I heard the narration, (I knew that) the film will answer a lot of questions about Godse and Gandhi. The movie doesn’t show anyone as the hero or the villain – it just presents facts. It is a purely substantive film. I was not at all skeptical about the subject, because I knew that we are presenting facts. (There were) no second thoughts about the movie.

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Anuj elaborated on his role in the film saying, “It was challenging because I wasn’t playing a character from this time, but from 70 years ago. Adjusting to the way they talk, their body language and everything… that was a challenge. I managed to overcome the challenge thanks to workshops, rehearsals and guidance from (Rajkumar) Santoshi sir. It was a good experience from which I learned a lot.”

Anuj has also worked with stars like Janhvi Kapoor and Alia Bhatt on several advertisements. Reflecting on the experience, he said, “I did an ad with Alia once. She rode the scooty and I sat behind her. The whole time she constantly asked me if I was okay. Then I made an advertisement with Janhvi and during the break we sat in different corners of the room. When someone from Dharma (Productions) came to meet her, she introduced me to the person. She didn’t have to, but she did anyway. They are so good, well-mannered and grounded.”

He also recalled how Pankaj Kapur stood on the sets for six to seven hours straight while shooting an advertisement. “Such a senior actor, and throughout the schedule he was constantly standing.”

Anuj also shared the difficulties of being an outsider in the film industry. “As an outsider, it is very difficult to even arrange a meeting. I don’t blame anyone, but there is so much competition and everyone is super talented. If you don’t know anyone, arranging a meeting can take six months, sometimes even years.”

He added: “I’m not blaming it, but it’s hard. This was the biggest challenge I faced. Of course I also learned that you have to keep working hard and improve your craft. If you have talent, you can it cannot be hidden.”

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