Known for being the voice of South superstar Prabhas in the superhit franchise Baahubali, Sharad Kelkar has proved his acting mettle in TV shows and web series, alongside Hindi, Marathi, Telugu and Tamil films. The 46-year-old actor made his television debut with the show Aakrosh which aired on Doordarshan. The actor went on to host TV shows, but he rose to fame as Thakur Digvijay Singh Bhadoria in the TV show Bairi Piya.
Sharad Kelkar is now gearing up for the historical drama ‘Har Har Mahadev’ that sees him in the role of braveheart Maratha, Baji Prabhu Deshpande, the commander of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The movie hits theatres on October 25 in 5 languages.
In a conversation with News18 Showsha, Sharad talked about Har Har Mahadev and why is it important to tell the story of the brave Maratha warrior in 5 languages.
“A lot of films have been made on Indian history by different directors. But I think there was only one film that we made in the last few years based on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s era. And when we were planning the film Har Har Mahadev, we realised that our primary language is Marathi and our budgets are so restricted, we thought that it won’t be justice to Chhatrapati Shivaji’s character if we make a small film about him. Not just content, the script or the story, we wanted to show the grandness of our Maharaja. So, we designed the film in such a manner that it should look as big as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s persona. We have tried our best and that is why we are releasing this film in 5 different languages – Marathi, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada so that everybody should know about Shivaji Maharaj and his stories,” said Sharad.
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Before Har Har Mahadev, Sharad won over the masses with his portrayal of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Ajay Devgn’s Tanhaji- The Unsung Warrior. He talked about the process of transitioning from Shivaji Maharaj to his commander Baji Prabhu Deshpande in Har Har Mahadev. Sharad also shared that he was offered Shivaji Maharaj’s role many times, but he said yes to the film on one term.
He shared, “When I did Tanhaji, I was hugely accepted by the audience as Shivaji Maharaj, and I feel very fortunate to play his character. But, there are also a few actors in the industry who are stuck with a certain image, and it was no growth in their life as an actor. They chose to remain in their character all their life. However, I wanted something else. I feel fortunate to be cast in the role, and I feel Shivaji Maharaj chose me for it. And after that (Tanhaji), a lot of filmmakers came to me with the same offering and said that they were making a period film and wanted me to play Shivaji Maharaj. I responded by asking ‘How many films will I do with the same character?’ And they said that they feel I would do justice to the character. But I realised, nobody is making as big a film as the personality he is. "
“Then (Har Har Mahadev director) Abhijeet Deshpande came to me and I thought again he will also offer me the same role. And because it’s a Marathi film there will be no scale to it. But to my surprise, he offered me Baji Prabhu Deshpande’s role. I was bowled over by the fact that somebody is taking me in Baji Prabhu’s role. But I had put a term in front of them that I would do this film because Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is there in the film, that is - I’ll do the film only if he promised to do justice to the whole history. I didn’t want to make a small film, because a lot of people were making films at that time. I want to tell the story to the entire country and the entire world and If he would promise to make the movie on that scale I will be happy to do it. They promised me the same and you can see the grandness of the movie," added Sharad.
Speaking of his experience of working his co-star Amruta Khavilkar in the film, Sharad said, “We have known each other and we are friends from before, her husband I play cricket together for my team. We have been friends for a few years, and she is a very talented actress. She is very focused on her craft and her profession. Since we have known each other, it was easy to work with her. Only one thing she didn’t get to do in this film, in which she is fantastic - dancing. She didn’t have the opportunity to do that, otherwise, she has a very strong role in the film.”
Produced by ZEE Studios and Directed by Abhijeet Deshpande, Har Har Mahadev also stars Subodh Bhave, Amruta Khanvilkar, and Sayli Sanjeev in primary roles. The film will release in cinemas on October 25, 2022.
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