Amol Parashar says director Shoojit Sircar wanted him to “form an independent idea” to portray Bhagat Singh in Sardar Udham. The actor, who has a special but pivotal appearance in the Vicky Kaushal lead biopic, reveals that it was a task for him to create a convincing portrayal of the revolutionary.
“I didn’t have to copy any other actor’s interpretation because nobody knows how tall he was, how he walked. It’s only through the written accounts, which mostly are about his ideas and thought process. Now we needed to create a person who’s believable. It was more about his energy,” Amol told indianexpress.com in a freewheeling chat.
Bhagat Singh played a crucial part in Udham Singh’s life as his mentor, shaping his ideology towards society, politics and the freedom movement. Amol revealed that he assumed the makers would cast someone “more famous” than him. He, however, believes casting happened because “somebody must have said that I’m a good actor. You still want to give it a shot.”
Though Shoojit Sircar had a certain idea about how he’ll depict Bhagat Singh, Amol did his own share of readings and preparations to get into the role. But the final product, he says, was a collaborative process. “You don’t see the events of his life (in the film). Basically it was his idea that other freedom fighters carried.”
Elaborating more on how it is being on a Shoojit Sircar film set, Amol revealed that the calmness of the director helps his actors find a “safe space” in their performance.
“He has a background in theatre, so we bonded over that. There’s some respect for the craft of acting and space of actors. That comes across in your behaviour too. On set, we were not exposed to the chaos behind the scenes. He gives that safe space to the actors to allow them to do their job. He’ll give you time to get into the mood of the character at your own pace too. That makes you so comfortable and confident, that you want to just do anything for him,” Amol shared.
And what about his camaraderie with Vicky Kaushal, since all the scenes of his Bhagat Singh were with Udham Singh in the film? Also given the BTS stills and videos that the two actors have been sharing on social media, fans are certain of a close bond off camera too. Amol agreed.
“For me, it isn’t about the fun you have by cracking jokes or chilling together. If you’re able to trust your co-star, look into their eyes, and feel at ease, that’s creatively fun. You know you just have to do your job well because the other person is so good, that the exchange in the scene becomes so real. Vicky is brilliant at being so natural, the flow gets in, as if two people are hanging out in the scene together. He isn’t the superstar there. He’s your co-actor,” Amol said.
The actor picked the sensitive scene where Bhagat and Udham, while reading their books, get candid about how they see life on the revolutionary path that they’ve embarked on, with Bhagat encouraging his comrade to carry on his struggle even after his death at the hands of British. “In that scene, it looked like a real conversation between two friends who are so comfortable that they are reading their books quietly. The visual speaks of their bonding. How many friends can you do this with in real life? It’s always about having fun or partying otherwise. But the real chemistry is designed in that scene. That way I lucked out with Vicky and Shoojit sir,” Amol added.
Amol’s fan-favourite character Chitvan from TVF Tripling continues to rub off on him, with many tagging him more as a comic actor. But now with him getting noticed despite a small part in Udham Singh, does he think he’s let go of the Chitvan tag? Amol said “maybe”, though it was the audience that created that mould for him.
“I’m happy that I keep getting different opportunities and then audience appreciates it. It gives you confidence to try out new things, and also confidence to others to try out new things with you. People might have heard that I can just do comedy, but I’m confident that I can pull off other characters too,” he assured.
Replying with a smile on the mention of his journey from Chitvan to ‘Bhagtya’, Amol concluded saying, “It encourages you. I don’t want to be bored of my work. So I keep doing new work and keep getting excited and nervous about the results too. People keep coming to me with roles that aren’t dependent on my previous work. I’ll obviously say I can do it. But makers to take that risk shows the belief they have in me.”
Sardar Udham is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.