‘I have tried to be as authentic as possible’

Debarati Palit Singh
Sunday, 7 April 2019

Manoj Joshi, who plays Amit Shah in the Narendra Modi biopic, says that the release of the film just before the elections is nothing but a coincidence

Manoj Joshi likes to stay true to the characters he plays on screen. The veteran actor is playing the role of BJP leader Amit Shah in Omung Kumar's PM Narendra Modi. The film, starring Vivek Oberoi as the protagonist, was scheduled to hit the screens on April 5 but makers postponed the release date following the Supreme Court's decision to block the movie's release. 

Manoj clarifies that he hasn't mimicked Shah. “I haven't blindly followed him or spoken like him; I have tried to be true to certain aspects of his personality. I have observed him closely during his speeches. I haven't met him nor do I know him personally. But I have tried to be as authentic as possible,” he says.
The actor admits that playing a living character is very challenging. “He is a national figure. So definitely, I had to work on his mannerisms. I also had to react according to the scenes. I have tried my best and I am sure people will like it,” he adds. 

Manoj, who has been doing theatre for the past 18 years, isn't bothered about any comparisons with the real Shah. “That's the reason I haven't done his mimicry and just tried to stay true to the soul of the character,” he adds.

The actor says that he is lot more excited about the release of the film because it's about Modi. He feels not just the subject matter but the film will be an example in itself because of the pace at which it was shot. “We have shot in five units and across the country with so many actors, so I think it's a big achievement in itself. Everyone has contributed to the smooth shooting of the film,” he says.
He further adds that Omung had accepted a huge challenge of completing the film in such a short time. “But he has done his work brilliantly,” he says.  

PM Narendra Modi is being looked at as a propaganda film by the Opposition and the makers are also being questioned for releasing it before elections. Manoj says that it's a coincidence that the film was supposed to release now. “I don’t know why people are having a problem. It's vacation time and so the makers were releasing it now. Also, it's based on such an amazing personality about whom people should know. He came from a simple background and went to become the Prime Minister which is a fine example of our democracy,” he points out. 
As for biopics, he says they are working at the box office and if one finds an interesting subject, there shouldn't be any qualms about making a film on it. “All kinds of biopics, be it political, sports or any other, are working, provided the subject is good,” he says, adding, “Biopics on great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, B R Ambedkar, Lal Bahadur Shastri etc inspire us and show us ways to live our life.”

The actor will soon be seen in a web series Fathers by TVF and he can't stop gushing about the young generation of filmmakers. “I believe that you have to update yourself and move on with the new generation. They are more talented and sorted. They have new ideas which is amazing,” says the actor who has been part of films like De Dana Dan, Ready, Hasee Toh Phasee, Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon, Judwaa 2 and others.

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