Debutant actor Anuj Saini is all excited for the release of Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh on January 26. Directed by Rajkumar Santoshi, the film also stars Chinmay Mandlekar, Deepak Antani, and Tanisha Santoshi.
In an exclusive interview with PeepingMoon, Anuj spoke about acting in Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh, its clash with Shah Rukh Khan's Pathaan, the film's controversial subject matter, and his 6 years long journey in Mumbai.
Excerpts from the interview:
Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh, your first film is all set to release. Do you feel the jitters already?
Since it is my first film, I am obviously having jitters. I am happy and nervous too. It is a sweet and sour feeling for me.
Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh is clashing with Pathaan..
Yes, Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh and Pathaan are clashing but both are different genres. I wish they work well and make 1000 crores each at the box office. I hope the best for both films.
What’s your personal takeaway from the sets of Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh?
There are many actually. One is working with Rajkumar Santoshi, spending time with him, and watching him direct others and us. You get to learn a lot from him. You get to understand the depths of filmmaking. The other thing is watching great actors like Deepak Antani and Chinmay Mandlekar perform in front of you.
Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh is a political/period drama, what were the measures taken to make sure controversy is kept at bay?
Several factors were taken into consideration while making it. In the film, we have stated only facts and haven’t glorified anyone. We’ve just portrayed their perspectives in Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh. It is not biased. We have just stated facts many people aren’t aware of. We haven’t demeaned anybody unnecessarily.
It’s been 6 years since you relocated to Mumbai. How has the journey until now been?
The journey has been crazy with several ups and downs. I got to learn a lot about life during these 6 years. I experienced a lot about acting and Bollywood in these years. It has been a crazy journey but a lovely one.
Was it easy to get your first film?
It was not very easy to get my first film. When I moved to Mumbai, I knew no one. It would be a task to even get a 5-minute meeting with a director. Rajkumar Santoshi gave me a role in his film is a big thing. I met countless people, and did auditions for TV shows, web shows, films, etc. but got rejected on daily basis. The lows were extremely steep and when it came to highs, it felt good. Now with time, the difficulty level will soar high as people will expect something good from me. I will be working harder now.
As someone who’s not from Mumbai, has your tryst with the Indian entertainment industry been positive?
Everybody I met in the industry has been extremely kind to me and I have met good people who are my friends now. These are people who appreciate you if you’re working hard.
When did you decide to leave behind Civil Engineering and make a career in acting?
Since childhood, I wanted to get into acting but my parents were stern that I should finish my education before pursuing it as a career. After becoming a Civil Engineer, I came to Mumbai just like thousands of good-looking and talented people. There’s tough competition in the industry and my education will always be there as a backup.