Anupam Kher’s greatest challenge as an actor is now upon him as he plays former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in The Accidental Prime Minister. The shooting which was recently concluded in London had Anupam placed in a precarious dilemma. “It is easy to play a personality who is someone long gone, no matter how distinguished. With due respects to Ben Kingsley who was simply outstanding, he played Mahatma Gandhi long after when the original character’s physicality was a hazy memory on blurred bank notes and vague documentaries. On the other hand I had to play someone who is very much in the public domain. Manmohan Singhji’s walk, his personality, his style of speaking are all in the public consciousness. I couldn’t afford to slip up. I’d have ended up being caricaturish.” Anupam thinks Manmohan Singh is one of his best-played characters. “I’ve given it my entire concentration. We have worked hard to make a big epic homage to a man, scholar and politician who is misunderstood, or rather hardly understood.”
Anupam gears for a big release of The Accidental Prime Minister. “We are not looking at the bio-pic on Manmohan Singhji as a small film. We are making every effort to give the film the epic look that the man deserves.” One of the first friends to whom Anupam would like to show The Accidental Prime Minister is Robert de Niro. Apparently de Niro has shown a keen interest in Anupam’s biopic.
The two share an unlikely kinship. On 7 March this year De Niro threw an impromptu birthday party for Anupam in New York. Anupam is reluctant to speak about his friendship with the legendary actor. “It (the birthday celebration) was just something that he did on the spur of the moment. It was sweet gesture and one that I deeply appreciate.”