Shataf Figar will also be seen in Sushmita Sen's Aarya 2 soon.
Shershaah, based on the life of Captain Vikram Batra, dropped on Amazon Prime Video today. One of the main characters without whom Shershaah would be complete is Lt General YK Joshi. Shataf Figar, who plays his role in the film, spoke about his experience meeting the real-life hero.
In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, he also shared about his career. Shataf made a switch from Bengali cinema to the Hindi film industry. The actor elaborated on that, a legend he wants to play on screen and his future projects.
Excerpts from the interview...
What is the first thing you saw in Shershaah that made you say yes to the film?
What worked for me was the one fact that we were telling a story that people needed to know. We were celebrating the victory of an individual who gave his life to protecting our country. I was also excited about collaborating with Dharma Productions.
Tell me more about your character.
I'm playing the character of Lt. General YK Joshi who is also called Joseph. It's an absolute privilege and honour to have been cast for him.
What kind of preparation went into your character?
Of course, you have to prepare yourself and do a lot of research. With the character came a lot of responsibility of portraying it to the T. Of course, our director gave us the freedom to work by ourselves. There was a lot of mental and physical preparation. The boys had to undergo a lot of physical training. I didn't get the opportunity to be a part of that, unfortunately. It was more about instilling the values of leadership, kindness and the likes. It wasn't easy for any one of us to shoot in such conditions. But we overcame the challenge pretty well. We gave it all that we had and knew that was the only option.
Did you happen to meet the families of the soldiers?
I got an opportunity to meet Joseph sir. I could chat with him and understand what he was thinking at the time. At the same time, I could get some amazing stories from the war. All in all, it's been an honour.
What made you switch from the Bengali to the Hindi film industry?
There was no change. I just let it flow. I started pretty late as a performing artist. I started at about 35. Kolkata and Bengal was an amazing ground for me to prepare myself. I thought the best way to learn would be between action and cut. It's what I did. While I was there, I created opportunities for myself. Slowly, those opportunities are now becoming real. It just happened. There was no strategy per se but you grow as an actor, become better and more confident with the craft. When you play in a space like Bollywood, you have to be prepared. That was a preparation time for me. I'm here now. This is one of my first Bollywood releases. It's so amazing to work with Nikitin, Shiv, Sidharth and the whole gang.
If given an opportunity, would you work in Bengali web series?
Of course, why not! We're actors. We die to perform. We live and breathe to perform. Why only Kolkata and Bengal, anywhere!
If you had to play the lead role in someone's biopic, who would that be?
For me, it would be Bhagat Singh most definitely. He's heroic. I have huge respect for anybody who sacrifices their life.
What are your upcoming projects?
I have Aarya season 2, another by Habib Faisal that's called Those Spicy Thakur Girls. Apart from that, I have a Bengali film coming up which is called Senapati. These are the three projects slated to release this year by October.