I thought acting offer was a joke: Shankar Mahadevan

Shankar Mahadevan has made his acting debut with Marathi film Katyar Kaljat Ghusali, but the music composer says when the makers approached him with the role he thought they were pulling a prank on him.

Mahadevan, who is part of the famous composer trio, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, plays a musician in Subodh Bhave’s directorial debut, which is based on a play by the same name.

The 48-year-old National Award-winning singer says he overcame his initial hesitation about the film because he did not want to let go off such an interesting project.

“When the offer came to me from Nitin Keni (producer), obviously being the kind of person that I am, I went on the defensive thinking that he must be joking. However, Subodh convinced me that I fitted the role perfectly as it is the role of a musician,” Mahadevan said in an interview on the sidelines of IFFI.

“I decided to come on board and did not worry whether I would be able to succeed as it is based on a legendary play. I felt that I may not get an opportunity to be part of a film like this the second time.”
The film also stars Sachin Pilgaonkar and Bhave in lead roles. The original play premiered in 1967 in Mumbai where Hindustani classical vocalist Vasantrao Deshpande played one of the protagonists, Khansaheb.

The play was was re-launched in 2010. The film’s music has been composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy and they have retained some of the songs from the play which were composed by Jitendra Abhisheki.
Mahadevan says it was only after joining the project that he realised how challenging it was to play the character of Pandit Bhanushankar Shastri.

“It was quite a challenge to play the character. I like the character because it is about the purity of music and is natural and innocent to the core. I was scared initially as I have never played any character in a film, although I have been part of many south Indian films as myself.”
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