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Anupam Kher on 'The Accidental Prime Minister': Only controversy sells'


Kher, who plays Manmohan Singh in biopic, says he’s unperturbed about politicians taking offence to movie

Anupam Kher and Manmohan Singh
Anupam Kher and Manmohan Singh

A black and white poster of Anupam Kher in the get up of Manmohan Singh piqued the curiosity of cinephiles when it was unveiled in June, given the actor’s uncanny resemblance to the former prime minister. Kher, who portrays Singh in the cinematic adaptation of the latter’s then media adviser Sanjaya Baru’s book, The Accidental Prime Minster, says he’s bound by contract to keep from spilling details about the film.

Yet, he tells mid-day, “This is among the most important roles that I will play in my career spanning 500 films. The first look was important, as we wanted to give it a realistic feel. I have always said that an actor’s challenge lies in reinventinghimself. That is why I am looking forward to this one. It is a difficult role, but then, why should the job be easy?”

Anupam Kher in the film
Anupam Kher in the film

The book kicked up a storm when it hit shelves in 2014, with Singh, then in office, saying he felt stabbed in the back by Baru, who apparently used his access to the Prime Minister’s Office to pen the book. Kher, however, doesn’t seem perturbed with suggestions his film may attract the wrath of those in power.

“Nowadays, controversies sell. Media houses also like to pursue a controversial story or person. We all have the freedom of expression. That should not be taken away from anyone. Last year, we stood together for Udta Punjab [when the Censor Board was against the film] and, I hope, the industry comes together for any film or filmmaker in the future.” Helmed by debutante director Vijay Ratnakar Gutte, the film willkick-off in November and is expected to hit screens in December 2018, ahead of the next general election in 2019.



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