The actor who plays the lookalike of politician Raj Thackeray in the film Sarkar Raj was recommended by actress-MP Hema Malini, says director Ram Gopal Varma.
Rajesh Shringharpure plays a prominent role in the intense political drama.
"I don't know why she recommended him. She obviously believed he was talented. But Hemaji has never recommended anyone before. Not even her own daughter Esha whom I signed on my own for Darling," Varma told IANS.
"I, of course, met the guy. I was immediately struck by his resemblance to Raj Thackeray," added Varma who is premiering the film June 6 in Bangkok.
Hema Malini confirmed saying: "Yes, I did send Rajesh to Varma. I think he's a good actor, don't you?"
Says Varma: "To the best of my knowledge, Rajesh hasn't done cinema before. I like the challenge of introducing new talent. My next film Contract, which is another underworld film, has only newcomers and I mean there're no known faces in the film.
"When you work with newcomers, you need a lot more screen time to build the character because the audience doesn't know the actor. But with Rajesh Shringharpure there'll be an immediate connect in Sarkar Raj'because he looks like someone the audience has seen."