The life story of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw deserves to be told, says actor Fatima Sana Shaikh, who hopes her upcoming film Sam Bahadur, on the decorated war hero, will inspire the new generation.
Sam Bahadur is directed by Meghna Gulzar and stars Vicky Kaushal in the title role. Fatima, who plays former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the film, said working on the film was a learning experience for her.
"Sam Bahadur will reach a lot of people. It will move and inspire a lot of people. A whole generation doesn't know about him, I didn't know about him. It is okay. Through movies, you discover real-life heroes.
"Sometimes you need somebody else to believe that this is the story that needs to be told, and it is a brave thing to do. It is a larger-than-life character, it is a responsibility that you are taking, it is a huge risk and we all are looking forward to this film," the actor told PTI in an interview here.
Regarding her portrayal of Gandhi in the film, Fatima said she wasn't sure if she could pull off the iconic character.
"I feel lucky to play this role. But to be honest, it took me a while to believe I could do it. She (Meghna) was already convinced but I wasn't. We have seen in the past that so many of them have played this role before, but what's interesting in this film is I'm playing a younger Indira Gandhi," she said.
It was critical to capture Gandhi's essence and that's why they chose to steer clear of prosthetics, she added.
"We are not using prosthetics. It is slightly easier if you use prosthetics.
Now, without prosthetics, I'm seeing a bit of me as well. So, I had to find the spirit of the character.
"If I've got the spirit right, then I'm in a safe place. She (Meghna) really helped me to find the spirit. I feel lucky I got to play this role."
Meghna said they often had to ask Fatima to relax on the film set. "We have done the ageing make-up (on her). When she makes those faces and has animated conversations, we would feel it might all (make-up) come out. We are like, 'Calm down, sit still'."
Fatima said the audience's reaction to her work is what matters the most to her.
"Nothing is more satisfying than somebody coming up to you and saying, 'Your performance moved me'. So, when you play a character that moves people, it feels really good. It has happened to me with Dangal. My endeavour has always been to give my best every time," she said.
Sam Bahadur, produced by RSVP Movies, also features Sanya Malhotra. The film is slated to be released on December 1. n