Sharad Kelkar will soon be seen as a cop in Operation Romeo. The Free Press Journal caught up with him for an exclusive chat. Excerpts:
What made you choose Operation Romeo?
The film has an interesting storyline. When I heard the narration, I thought I haven’t done this before. This is that one role that I had never imagined that I would do. Once you watch the film, you will understand why I am saying this. Firstly, it is a difficult role for a family man to play. Secondly, I love Neeraj (Pandey, producer) sir; he is a great storyteller and has a vision. He is a nice man and is very clear about what he wants from his actors. I missed out on a couple of projects with him in the past, but Special Ops happened. Then, I met Shashant Shah (director). He is a very genuine filmmaker.
Operation Romeo has a social message. Is it the highlight in the film being the flavour of the current season?
Once you watch the film, you’ll witness a very important message. Since you mentioned the current flavour of the season, the issue is interestingly shown. It is such a treat to work with beautiful actors. Vedika Pinto has done wonders for her first film. I have worked with Sidhant (Gupta) before, and they both are really good on screen. The film has a different casting.
How was your camaraderie with noted actor Kishor Kadam?
I had a blast with Kishor sir on the sets. We are more of a switch on-switch off actors. We both are Maharashtrians. Since he is a poet also, I got to learn a lot from him. My Marathi is a little weak since I am born and brought up in Gwalior. I learned the language from him.
You are playing a cop in the film. Did you take any special training for the role?
No, it is not an action film. It is more of a drama and a performance-driven film. I heard that because of my voice; I got this film, but I don’t know if that’s the case. I don’t value my voice since I am used to talking in the same voice, but others can grade your voice. I remember Shekhar Suman once told me that if you are in love with your voice, you can’t be a good actor. Except for dubbing, I really don’t pay attention to my voice.
Your previous film choices had hit the right chord. Do you consider yourself lucky?
Sometimes you choose good roles, but the film doesn’t work, or your role isn’t highlighted. I have been lucky also that people have accepted me in the roles I had chosen earlier. My wife (Keerti Gaekwad Kelkar) is my critic. She is my teacher too as she has taught me a few basics, so I respect her a lot. Being my partner, she can tell me things honestly. I narrate to her every script which I read. She instantly told me to sign on with Laxmii, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, and even Operation Romeo.
Which films, according to you, have been a game-changer for your career?
I would say Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela. I thank Sanjay Leela Bhansali for giving me a break and trusting a TV actor to play a primary role in a feature film. People started looking at me as an actor. Secondly, I would give the credit to Nishikant Kamat, who roped me in Lai Bhaari and then Baahubali. After the release of its second part, people came to know it is my voice in Hindi.