Actor Ankur Bhatia says he was in awe of actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan while shooting for Sarbjit, and feels she has given one of her career’s best performances in the upcoming biopic.
Directed by Omung Kumar, the movie is based on Sarabjit Singh, an Indian national, who died following an assault by fellow prisoners at a Pakistani jail. The film stars Randeep Hooda in the titular role and Aishwarya as Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur.
Ankur, who plays Aishwarya’s husband in the film, is all praise for the 42-year-old actor. “Sarbjit is one of her best films and performances. I was completely in awe of her. She is a huge star, but at the same time very jolly, nice and humble. She used to talk about her baby and made sure everybody was comfortable on the sets,” said the actor.
Ankur, who resides in New York, began his career in 2010 in Payal Sethi’s Grant St Shaving Co, which was produced by filmmaker Mira Nair. He then went on to work in a negative role in Apurva Lakhia’s Zanjeer, which also starred Sanjay Dutt and Priyanka Chopra. For his role in Sarbjit, the actor had to undergo several rounds of audition and grow his beard to look like a sardar. “I had actually auditioned for a film called Mehrunnisa which was being directed by Sudhir Mishra. That film never got made. Later, I was asked to record some scenes of Sarbjit and send it to the casting directors before I finally went to Omung Kumar’s office and gave the audition.”
Ankur says the role was “demanding” as he had to portray the conflict of a character, whose age group he did not identify with.
“Baldev is a man who loves his wife very much, but also feels he doesn’t get that much of attention as his wife is constantly into the mission of rescuing her brother. It was very necessary for the conflict to come out...,” he said.
“At times it was challenging because the character starts out as young and transitions into old. I did not belong to the age group, but had to keep myself in the zone of an uptight man which I am not in real life,” the actor said. Sarbjit will release on May 20.