Actor Fatima Sana Shaikh says it was filmmaker Meghna Gulzar’s faith in her that inspired her to take up the role of former prime minister Indira Gandhi in the upcoming biographical drama Sam Bahadur.
Headlined by Vicky Kaushal, the film is based on the life and times of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, one of India’s greatest war heroes.
Fatima, best known for films Dangal and Ludo, said one has to be a “director’s actor” to honestly portray a personality so famous.
“She has a huge personality and I wasn’t sure about taking up the movie but Meghna (Gulzar) was sure. She said ‘trust me’ and I was like, if a director like her is saying, ‘trust me’, then something must be right, and maybe I’m not seeing what she is seeing.
“I did it because I love her work. She made the journey easy for me. She knew what she wanted, whether it was the graph of the performance or look. You have to be a director’s actor. That’s what I did,” the 31-year-old actor, who will be seen next in Dhak Dhak, told PTI in an interview.
More than trying to emulate Gandhi, Fatima said her emphasis was on capturing the “soul” of the character.
“Meghna has a unique way of having her actors play a certain character, where the focus is on getting the soul and emotions right. It was not about being just like Indira Gandhi,” she said.
As a part of her research, the 31-year-old actor said she went through a history lesson of her own by reading books and watching old footage of the former prime minister.
“When you play characters like this, just to understand the journey of it, you read history, and you realise there are so many things that have happened in our country. It was a different world back then.” “Sam Bahadur” also stars Sanya Malhotra as Manekshaw’s wife Silloo.
The movie, set to be released in theatres on December 1, is produced by RSVP Movies.