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      EXCLUSIVE! Sohum Shah Opens Up About Maharani, Fallen With Sonakshi Sinha & Plans For Tumbbad 2

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      Actor-producer Sohum Shah got candid with us at Filmibeat about his recent SonyLIV release Maharani and shared that he is most excited to be seen as a cop in his upcoming project with Sonakshi Sinha. Sohum also opened up about his aspirations as an actor and how he is using the lockdown to get in touch with his roots.

      Sohum Shah

      Sohum, who's also acted and produced projects like Ship of Theseus and Tumbbad, opened up about his character's comparisons with Lalu Prasad Yadav and the kind of projects his family wants to see him in. "My family is also waiting for me to do characters that are larger than life because they are not interested in unique stories like Tumbbad. They want to see me in films similar to the ones they grew up watching," Sohum said in an exclusive chat with Filmibeat.

      Here are excerpts from the interview,

      1. Your performance in Maharani has been praised by many fans. How has the response of the show been?
      Maharani has gotten a lot of love from the audience, even more than we expected, so I am really happy that so many people have watched the show and are appreciating all the work that we have done.

      2. How did you prepare for your character with such a complex history? We also heard that you had gained weight to play Bheema Bharti, which made you look very unrecognisable in the show.
      Being unrecognisable is like the biggest compliment an actor can get for his performance, but I didn't really have much to do with the weight gain. I will give full credit for the same to my mother. I was at home during the lockdown and the way mothers are, they always think their children are not eating enough. So by the time I had to come back to Mumbai I had gained 10 kgs. All this while I was thinking the first thing to do after going back would be losing weight. But fortunately, I was offered this show, Maharani which fit well with my weight at the time.

      I didn't really get much time to prepare for the role because we started shooting within 20 days after I joined the cast. Luckily, Subhash sir (director) speaks very well in Bihari and also our writer's team is from Bihar, so they helped a lot with the dialect. An even bigger challenge was catching on to Bheema's psychology, I watched a lot of videos of Indian politicians, and political leaders from Bihar. I didn't have to work too hard because I could easily grasp his thought process and the biggest contribution was a dialogue from the show, "Jail ke taale tutengay, Bheema babu chutengay." After I heard that I knew exactly what kind of self-assured and confidant person Bheema is.

      3. Makers have made it clear that the show is fictional, but what do you have to say about the comparisons with Lalu Prasad-Rabri Devi?
      The show is fictional, it isn't even inspired or based on anyone but because everyone is so aware about politics, comparisons are bound to happen. So no matter which political show you make people are going to make some connections, I think that is what happened with Maharani. But if you watch past first few episodes, you will release that that is not the case.

      Maharani Web Series Review: Huma Qureshi Gives Her Best In The Political Drama That Tries Too HardMaharani Web Series Review: Huma Qureshi Gives Her Best In The Political Drama That Tries Too Hard

      4. How have you been dealing with the pandemic? Have you been reading more scripts or like most of your fans you too got sucked into bingeing content online?
      I have been catching up on online content but mostly spending time with my friends at home. I spent the last 10 years in Mumbai working on films and lost touch with everyone. After spending so much time doing one thing you can lose touch with reality, so this has been a good experience as an actor also. There is more to learn here as I spend more time with everyone.

      Sohum Shah

      5. Your filmography consists of films with different genres and Maharani is another unexpected project. What attracts you to different scripts?
      We are very small actors, whoever offers work I will work with them. People think I am choosy with my scripts but it is the opposite, I get very few offers. Since I don't have formal training from places like the National School of Drama, people are wary of hiring me. Producers aren't sure if I will be able to take on a role, they are also wary of the kind of projects I have worked on because they are very unusual.

      So whatever projects I have worked on are all thanks to the personal relationships I have made and the people that I have met over the years. Dibakar Banerjee loved Ship of Theseus and got in touch with me, I met Subhash Kapoor at the National Awards, when I received one for Ship of Theseus and he got for Jolly LLB. We didn't work together right away but eventually, he got in touch with me for Maharani.

      People also wonder if I am serious about acting because I am a producer. But as an actor, I am very greedy and want to be a part of all kinds of films. From comedy, romance, horror to all-out commercial films. My family is also waiting for me to do characters that are larger than life because they are not interested in unique stories like Tumbbad. They want to see me in films similar to the ones they grew up watching and I am also interested in it. So now finally after 10 years, I am getting such roles with Maharani and the upcoming show Fallen with Sonakshi Sinha.

      6. Most of your projects have been unique and ahead of their time, but with OTT, more unique stories are getting a platform and fans are enjoying them. Do you think the industry is finally catching up to artists who believe in storytelling more than the commercial aspect?
      It is true when we started working on Tumbbad in 2012, no one was working on films like that. People didn't even talk about philosophical films at the time of Ship of Theseus. But now that such films are coming out, it makes me happy to see that the audience is getting a chance to see something different and they are also enjoying it. Thanks to OTT and the different content, people are now accepting such stories easily. It also makes things easier for us who want to make unique films.

      7. There have been rumours about Tumbbad 2, and fans are waiting to hear about the sequel. What would you like to share with them?
      It took me seven years to make the first film, it's too soon to talk about Tumbbad 2. We are still trying to crack the right storyline and have 3-4 ideas, but nothing has been set in stone. I am going to make Tumbbad 2 but not for the box office or the demand but because the world of Tumbbad was so unique we wanted to explore it more.

      8. Can you share something with us about your upcoming show with Sonakshi Sinha?
      I and Sonakshi both are playing cops in the film. The series might release sometime in November or December this year. I really enjoyed playing the unique and complex character. This is the first time I got a chance to play a cop and wearing the uniform was an amazing experience. I grew up watching big stars play cops in movies, and especially after watching I really wanted to play a cop. Now I finally got the chance, so I am excited for the show to come out.

      Sohum Shah-starrer Tumbbad Is All Set For A Sequel? Details InsideSohum Shah-starrer Tumbbad Is All Set For A Sequel? Details Inside

      9. What can your fans expect from you in your future projects?
      I am doing a silent comedy film and I am really excited about it. The film also stars Nushrratt Bharuccha, Nora Fatehi, Konkona Sen Sharma, who was all very different actors. So I think I will get to experience something completely new and I am really looking forward to it. On the production front, we have been working on a horror story, and are waiting for the release of three films which have already been shot.

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