Anupam Kher on The Accidental Prime Minister row: It's an important story that needs to be told
Anupam Kher on The Accidental Prime Minister: 'When Ben Kingsley played Gandhi, he got an Oscar: when Daniel Day Lewis played Lincoln, he got an Oscar.'
Veteran actor Anupam Kher, who is essaying the role of former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in The Accidental Prime Minister, said on Friday the film is an important story that needs to be told.
The film is based on the book of the same name, written by Sanjay Baru, who served as Singh's media advisor 2004 to 2008. Akshaye Khanna features as Baru. The trailer shows Singh as the victim of the inside politics of the Congress party ahead of 2014 general elections, which the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) lost.
Kher said in a recent press conference that he was initially reluctant to play the role. He said, "Initially I was not too keen on doing the role since it's a political film, and would be a controversial subject. Then one day I saw Dr Manmohan Singh on TV, and decided to take the film up as a challenge as I have always reinvented myself as an actor. As an actor of the film I have researched on the film for over 6 months...and we are in the world of biopics now."
Kher doesn't believe the film supports or criticises a particular political party but looks at the larger picture. "Why cant we make a film about a political decade where we show what happens in the PMO? So, we have basically done that," he added.
He confirmed there won't be any special screening for Congress. "The only person who I would like to hold a special screening for is Dr Manmohan Singh, because I portray him in the film," he said.
He isn't worried about the controversial story of the film because the Censor Board has "already approved the film."
Dismissing all the controversies surrounding the film, Kher believed it was a matter of freedom of expression, wondering, "Why is it that when Meryl Streep plays Margaret Thatcher, when Ben Kingsley played Gandhi, he gets an Oscar: when Daniel Day Lewis played Lincoln, he gets an Oscar. But in this country, the very question of a political film's release is in a dilemma. This is very unfortunate. We talk about freedom of expression, but when it comes to implementing it, everyone backs out."
And Kher hopes for similar recognition with The Accidental Prime Minister.
Directed by Vijay Ratnakar Gutte, the film is slated to be released on 11 January.
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)
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