Essaying the role of a living legend can be tough but Sushant Singh Rajput, who plays Mahendra Singh Dhoni in an upcoming biopic, was up for the task. Probably because he managed to “live the character”.
“It was not tough (to play Dhoni in film) because of the expectations of the audience. We as actors have to convince ourselves that we are the characters. I had strong visual reference of him, so it was a difficult task for me,”Sushant told reporters at a promotional event in Mumbai.
“I immersed into the film completely. When I was shooting for the film on day one, I did not pretend to be Dhoni, I was Dhoni,” he said. The actor, who is a big fan of Dhoni, doesn’t think about the audience reaction while doing the film. “But when the film is about to release, I think about how people will respond. Before that, I am a selfish actor and I look for excitement,” he said.
The actor trained for 11 months before shooting. Since Dhoni is known for his trademark ‘helicopter’ shot, Sushant worked to get it right. “On the first day, by the end I got that helicopter shot. After the shot I realised I was in pain, I had got hairline fracture so I was on two-week leave. Now, I can do helicopter shot nicely,” he said.
When asked about the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) allegedly curbing freedom of expression of filmmakers, Sushant said it’s disheartening if anything relevant to a film is asked to be removed or changed. “We are only talking, they (CBFC) are cutting us. To actually ask to remove something important from a film has a ripple effect on the entire film. An artist or any creative person doesn’t feel good if anything important is asked to be removed from a film,” he said. The biopic, directed by Neeraj Pandey, hits the cinemas on September 30.