Satish Kaushik on playing the foul-mouthed Manu Mundra in Scam 1992: ‘Shabana Azmi called me, said I was superb’
Actor-filmmaker Satish Kaushik is among the busiest veterans in the film industry right now. From web series to films to even radio shows, he has been picking up projects one after the other. He was most recently seen as the foul-mouthed stock market kingpin Manu Mundra in Hansal Mehta’s Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story. Clad in crisp white kurtas and thick gold jewellery, Satish broke away from his good guy ‘Calender’ image to hurl some of the dirtiest abuses on the show.
Satish is loving all the attention and appreciation he got for the show. Most treasured of them seems to be a compliment he got from actor Shabana Azmi. Speaking to Hindustan Times, he said, “Shabana Azmi called me and said ‘You were so superb and sometimes it is not nice to hear abuses from characters and actors but the way you said it, it looked so unusual.’ I am happy that my reinvention is being noticed by people like you, starting from Udta Punjab to Soorma to Judgementall Hai Kya to Scam. As an actor, one has tried to reinvent. Now, in Kaagaz, after a long time I am coming as a director but I wanted to be at pace with the times today and bring out a new story in a new atmosphere.”
Not just as an actor, Satish is also looking to reinvent himself as a director. The trailer for his film Kaagaz, starring Pankaj Tripathi was unveiled on Thursday. Kaagaz is about a man’s fight against bureaucracy, which has declared him dead when he is still alive. Talking about the tone he chose for the film, Satish said, “This film was very special for me. When I thought about the tone of the film, I thought that because I am making a film after a long time, I should do something that is new and inventive for me. Films these days are more realistic where there is no room for melodrama. So I wanted to present this film in a more realistic manner with some humour. I have been associated with the theatre, with films such as Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, in which I had acted and written dialogues for. I wished to make a realistic, dark comedy, in which the people would laugh as I tell them about a serious issue. And I have been successful in making the film that I had set out to make.”
Kaagaz is based on the real life story of on Lal Bihari Mritak, a man from Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh. Satish decided to meet the man himself before he brought his story to the big screen. “His story was all over the print media. Many essays and articles were also written on him. I could have used those articles as my source material but it was important for me to meet that person. So Imtiaz (Husain, co-writer) and I went to his village, looking for him. We found him and met him, called him to Delhi and heard his story. He is a worrisome guy. He had turned cynical of the world and found it difficult to trust anyone. This is how he still is because of all that he has been through in life. So I thought this is not a simple guy, he is caught up in his worries but his story is so simple. So he told me his story, which I already knew but what I learnt was his perspective towards life and the trouble he has been through. I added that to the character I had created,” he said.
Kaagaz is up for release on Zee5 on January 7.
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