EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! Anuj Saini: I Wish Both Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh And Pathaan Make 1000 Crores At Box Office

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    Actor Anuj Saini, who has been part of various advertisements and 30-plus music videos, is now all set to make his film debut with Rajkumar Santoshi's Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh. In an exclusive interview with Filmibeat, he talks about his first meeting with the director and calls it a dream come true.

    Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh, directed by Rajkumar Santoshi, is set to release in theatres on 26th January 2023. The film shows the fictional world where Mahatma Gandhi survives the attack on him and later meets Nathuram Godse in prison. It explores the heated debate between two very different ideologies. Anuj will be seen playing a crucial role in the film.

    Ahead of the release, Anuj Saini talks at length about his experience of working with director Rajkumar Santoshi, his journey from being an engineer to bagging a film, clashing with Pathaan, and a lot more.

    Excerpts from the interview.

    Q. How exciting it is to start a year with a debut film? How the experience has been with filmmaker Rajkumar Santoshi?

    Q. How exciting it is to start a year with a debut film? How the experience has been with filmmaker Rajkumar Santoshi?

    A. It is very exciting to start a year with a debut film. I have very mixed emotions. I am excited, I am nervous, plus the experience has been phenomenal. I have got to learn so much from the legendary filmmaker, the way he directs, the way he narrates is out of the world and larger than life. The detailing he gives into every frame teaches us a lot. That is what makes a project perfect. He doesn't compromise on perfection. If he wants something, he wants that. He is so particular about what he wants, be it the performances, the costumes, or the makeup. It's once in a lifetime experience working under him.

    Q. How were you approached for this film? Can you share something about the auditions and what was your first reaction after getting locked for the film?

    A. So, before the pandemic started, the casting director Kashyap Chandhock called me and asked for my pictures. He gave me a simple narration that he needs pictures of how I would've looked if I was in the era of the 1950s. So, I wore a simple shirt with a scarf and I styled my hair in a different way with a side parting and all that; and sent him those pictures. He showed those pictures to Raj (Santoshi) Sir and he approved them. Then I had a meeting with Raj sir, he narrated the whole story and that's how this project happened and that's how I got locked. After the news came to me that I am locked for the project, I couldn't believe it because for an outsider, someone who is not from Mumbai, who knew no one in the city, and getting a film is a big thing. It was like a dream come true, so I couldn't believe it. I started crying and I was so overwhelmed and excited that I couldn't sleep for 2 days. And if you are debuting with Rajkumar Santoshi sir, what more you can ask for? It's like a blessing. I am very happy.

    Q. Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh is clashing with Shahrukh Khan's Pathaan at the box office? Are you concerned about the box office numbers?

    Q. Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh is clashing with Shahrukh Khan's Pathaan at the box office? Are you concerned about the box office numbers?

    A. Yes, our film is clashing with Shahrukh Khan sir's Pathaan at the box office. But I am not concerned about the numbers to be very honest because Pathaan is a totally different genre, our film is totally different. So, I am not really concerned. I wish both the films should work and both the films should make 1000-1000 crores at the box office.

    Q. If asked about dreams, what are your dreams as an actor?

    A. I want to work till the day I die, that is my dream. I want to keep working. My biggest motivation is Mr Shah Rukh Khan sir. He is such a big star, but how hardworking he is. He is my role model. And I want to play different characters, want to do different genres of films. I want to do international projects too, and everything.

    Q. From doing engineering to working in advertisements and music videos and now bagging a film. How do you see your journey?

    Q. From doing engineering to working in advertisements and music videos and now bagging a film. How do you see your journey?

    A. It has been a journey with a lot of ups and downs. I remember cracking my first audition, the first ad, which was for Hide & Seek biscuits. It took me months to crack that audition because I had no proper training in acting, no guidance, so it was very difficult. On set also I remember, I was very nervous, my legs were trembling, but then I worked on myself. I did a lot of workshops and theatres. So, it has been an exciting journey. I have learned so much. As a human being also, I have evolved so much. I am much more self-aware now. I hope to be working more hard in the future.

    Q. What kind of roles do you wish to get offered in times to come? And what do you see in a script before saying yes to a project?

    A. I would like to explore all the genres. I want to play negative roles, romantic roles, serious as well as comedy roles. I think a good actor is someone who can perform and who can do any kind of role offered to him. So, I would like to explore, experiment and I am up for all of that as I will get to learn a lot, I will get to live different lives when I am playing different characters. So, that I would like to do in future. And when a script comes to me, first thing I see is the storyline because these days content is the real hero. If the content is good then I would love to be a part of it.

    Q. Did you have any role model or inspiration from the film industry?

    Q. Did you have any role model or inspiration from the film industry?

    A. I have many role models from the industry. But first and foremost is Mr Shah Rukh Khan sir. He is a Delhite like how I am. He was from nowhere, no background and still he made it. He is the biggest actor, not only in India but in the world. So, he is the role model of every actor I suppose. Then there are many more actors like Late Sushant Singh Rajput sir. He was an engineer, like how I am. I could connect with him. Than Ayushmann Khurrana, Kriti Sanon, Rajkummar Rao, there are so many who are from no film background but made it big. So all of them are my role models, all of them are inspirations. I follow their journey and I get inspired and motivated by them.

    Q. We heard, you already have a few films after Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh. Can you share something on that?

    A. By the grace of god I have signed my second before the release of my debut, which will be directed by Mr Prradip Khairwar and Kashika Kapoor will be featuring with me in that film. It's a romantic film with a social message on women empowerment. And we will be most probably shooting in Varanasi in real locations. Currently, workshops are going on for that and I can't wait to go on floors. I am very excited for the film.

    Read more about: anuj saini interview bollywood
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