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I tried to cultivate lot of anger & hatred in me while portraying

Rajkummar talks about playing the toughest role in his career of portraying the of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, British terrorist of Pakistani descent.

Monday, April 16, 2018 | 5:02:51 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Rajkummar Rao has time and again proved his acting skills in his choice of films. The actor has not only surprised but, shocked many with his killing act in films like Shahid, Citylights, Trapped and now in Omerta. However, the film is all set to release this week but, the trailer has kept everyone wanting to watch this film.

"Omerta" is a 2017 Indian biographical crime drama film directed by Hansal Mehta and stars Rajkumar Rao in the role of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, British terrorist of Pakistani descent. The film explores the 1994 kidnappings of Westerners in India for which Omar was arrested and served time in prison and the plotting of murder of Wall Street journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.

In an interview with a leading daily, the actor was asked that, does he like to be a part of biopics. To this, he said, "It is a coincidence. It is not that I am only looking at doing biopics. But of course, as an actor, I always love portraying real-life characters because there is so much challenge involved in recreating somebody's life. This process is fun, but after Omerta, at least for the next five-six films, I am not doing a biopic."

"The process of playing a character as dark as Omar Saeed Sheikh is disturbing. So you have to mentally also be in that psyche, that state of mind. So, it was not easy. I was trying to cultivate a lot of anger and hatred in me while portraying him. Because that's what I read and heard about him. I watched a lot of documentaries and disturbing violent videos to get my act together. I wanted to feel the anger about what is going on in the world. And it did happen, I could achieve that, and I had to retain that throughout the process, which was for three to four months. And it is not a comfortable place when you are continually thinking about hatred for other human beings. There were times when I would be mentally so tired while shooting that I just wanted to sleep because I was always in that state of mind. Shooting those scenes and interacting with people about those things, it was a tough process," the actor added.

As it could be a controversial film when Kumar was asked will it occur any communal discussions? On this, the actor said, "Not at all! See we are not targeting any community here. It is a very different film. It talks about a person who is an outsider. He is not from here, not from any of our communities. We are not trying to justify anything he does. Hansal Sir is a very responsible and honest director. It is a brutally honest film. It shows things the way it had actually happened, so there is neither an agenda here nor are we giving any justifications. We are just showcasing you the mirror. We are just showing you the dark truth of this world."

When asked about nudity in the film, he said, "Yes, there is nudity in the film, but I am not nervous. I was butt-naked in LSD, my first film itself. This particular scene was very very disturbing for me as an actor. I am not sure if I can even talk about it, but it is not about making love. It is more than that! It is brutal. It is wild. It is like being an untameable animal. I am a very different person from him. I am a fun loving, peaceful guy. I don't have that kind of hatred in me. Doing this particular scene was very impromptu actually. We decided to do this shot in two days. Hansal sir told me about it. He said let's do something like this, and that's how we did it. In Shahid also, I am naked when these guys are torturing me. Similarly, this too is very real. We have tried to capture the nuances well. With Hansal sir, I can do it because I trust him. He won't make it look vulgar. He has shot it very aesthetically."

"Omerta" was screened in the Special Presentations section at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, the Mumbai Film Festival, Florence Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Busan International Film Festival and is now scheduled to release on 20 April 2018.

CREDITS: INDIAN EXPRESS

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