Animal: Ranbir Kapoor's On-Screen Mom Charu Shankar REACTS To Being Just A Year Older Than The Actor

Animal: Ranbir Kapoor's On-Screen Mom Charu Shankar REACTS To Being Just A Year Older Than The Actor

Charu Shankar opens up about playing Ranbir Kapoor's role in Animal and the age-gap debate in Bollywood

Ria SharmaUpdated: Friday, December 15, 2023, 08:36 AM IST
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Animal: Ranbir Kapoor's On-Screen Mom Charu Shankar REACTS To Being Just A Year Older Than The Actor |

Actress Charu Shankar, who played the role of Ranbir Kapoor's mother in Animal, is currently garnering praises for her performance. However, she has also stirred the age-gap debate in Bollywood. Reason being, she is just a year older than the actor. While Charu is 42, Ranbir is 41. The Free Press Journal caught up with the actress for an exclusive interview. 

Opening up about being a part of the action-entertainer, Charu gushes, "It has been a wild ride. I’ve never been part of a movie on a scale like this, with a storyline so different. I’m immensely grateful for its success. My character Jyoti establishes the central conflict of the story right at the start of the film, when Ranbir's character is a young boy. Director Sandeep Reddy Vanga believed I was the right choice for this crucial part of his story and that’s how I came on board."

Charu is all praises for co-stars Ranbir and Anil Kapoor and director Sandeep. "RK and AK are huge superstars, and I was very nervous on my first day on the set. Both of them immediately put me at ease. They are very collaborative actors, generous with their craft and time, and it was a pleasure working with them. Sandeep had an absolute razor sharp focus on his story. He knew it inside out, he knew each character’s arc and the nuances he wanted. He was very clear in his direction, and that’s very helpful to any actor on set."

On the ongoing age-gap debate, Charu comments, "The age-gap debate is a very old one, and a very valid one. But this is a larger question for the powers that be in Bollywood, Hollywood and in every industry. Despite the minimal age difference, I said yes to the film because I love the craft of acting. I love to research my characters, to find the characters voice, her posture, her backstory - all of that. To me, to be given a role which is far away from my own life, is a delicious challenge which I love to bite into. The scale of this film was huge, and I’m happy that my work has been appreciated by audiences, and also by my wonderful co-stars and director."

Charu says it wouldn't be wrong to call Animal the turning point of her acting career. Revealing what changed post the film's release, Charu shares, "Now, a lot of people have started to show interest in my work and they are going back to my previous work and watching them. Going through airports has also become a different experience. I think I need to rethink my travel look (laughs). Earlier, my biggest challenge was the loneliness I felt in the industry, in Mumbai. I was shy, I was an outsider, I used to finish my work and just run away! Now, I have my team here, and that has changed everything."

On a concluding note, the actress opens up about the changes in the film industry she observed over the years. "Since the advent of OTT, people have started to shoot long format stories like film. Beautifully crafted shots to go with layered stories, gorgeous locations, excellent scripts, grey characters - it’s a slice of heaven for actors like me. And now the same trend seems to be coming to films. I’m loving it." 

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