OTTplay Logo
settings icon
profile icon

Fatima Sana Shaikh opens up about playing Indira Gandhi in Sam Bahadur: The focus is on getting the soul and emotions right

Sam Bahadur, directed by Meghna Gulzar, stars Vicky Kaushal in the titular role and Sanya Malhotra as his onscreen wife.

Fatima Sana Shaikh opens up about playing Indira Gandhi in Sam Bahadur: The focus is on getting the soul and emotions right
Fatima Sana Shaikh/Instagram

Last Updated: 02.38 PM, Oct 11, 2023


Fatima Sana Shaikh, who will play former prime minister Indira Gandhi in the upcoming biographical drama Sam Bahadur, credits Meghna Gulzar's confidence in her as the driving force behind her decision to accept the role. Vicky Kaushal portrays the movie's main character, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, an Indian war hero. In Fatima's opinion, it takes a "director's actor" to do justice to portraying such a strong personality.

Meghna Gulzar's confidence: A driving force for Fatima Sana Shaikh

During an interview with PTI, Fatima said that she wasn't sure if she wanted to take on the movie because of Indira Gandhi's enormous personality, but Meghna was adamant. The filmmaker said, "Trust me," and the actor thought, if a director like her is saying, "Trust me," then something must be okay, and maybe she's not seeing what the filmmaker is seeing. Fatima's motivation was her admiration for her craft, and because of Meghna, she had a smooth trip. Whether it was a performance graph or an appearance, the director understood exactly what she wanted. Fatima went on to say that the director must trust them as an actor.

When asked about her inspiration for Indira Gandhi, Fatima claimed she was more concerned with conveying her "soul" than with imitating her. The actor also said that Meghna has a special style of directing her actors to portray a role, with an emphasis on capturing the character's inner life and feelings. She emphasised that she was not trying to "do an Indira Gandhi."

Drawing from history: Researching Indira Gandhi

Fatima claimed that she gave herself a history lesson by studying archival video and reading biographies of the former prime minister. To further elaborate on this point, the actor said that when one portrays characters like this, just to comprehend the path of it, you read history, and there are so many things that have happened in our nation; that was a very different time and place.


Also starring in Sam Bahadur is Sanya Malhotra, who plays Silloo, Manekshaw's wife. RSVP Movies is responsible for making the film that will debut in theatres on December 1.

Get the latest updates in your inbox