Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs Of Wasseypur is nearing release and has been in the news a lot too. It even premiered at the Cannes Film Festival recently. But from among the cast, details about director-actor Tigmanshu Dhulia’s role in the film have been under wraps so far. Now, word is out that Dhulia is playing a role inspired by Suryadev Singh, a mafia lord from Dhanbad.
Singh was a controversial figure of his time and was very close to then Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar. Illegal mining and winning government contracts remain the major areas of operations of the mafia in Dhanbad.
Unofficial estimates of these operations are valued at around Rs. 100 crore per day.
Anurag admits a lot of preparation was needed for this two-part film. “We had to make multiple trips to Dhanbhad and do a lot of research on the area. That’s why it has taken over two years to shoot the two parts. It was obviously not easy, but I am extremely happy with the outcome. It has been a great experience.”
Ask him if he took permission to base his film on a real mafia don and he says, “Gangs Of Wasseypur is inspired by, but not based on anyone in particular.” And about Dhulia’s casting, he explains, “His character is an important one. Not many poeple know that Tigmanshu is a very good actor. Also, there was a bit of physical resemblance (with Suryadev). I could not think of anyone else to play this role. It’s more challenging to play a character inspired by someone in particular, but Tigmanshu pulled it off very well. It was payback time for me after he cast me in his film Shagird (2011).”