By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, Sep 2 (IANS) When an actor prepares for a role he doesn't
think of the outcome. When Anupam Kher took on the role of a Kashmiri
Muslim in "Dhokha" people of his clan of Kashmiri Brahmins objected
"Yes, I'm a Kashmiri Pandit in real life. But in 'Dhokha' I play a
Kashmiri Muslim who's a victim of the establishment. It's a role that
required me to look at the tragedy of fundamentalism and extremism from
the other side. And I don't mind if it offends some people. I'm an actor
hungry for experience. I'm ready to play anything from a killer to a
comedian to a corpse ('Buddha Mar Gaya')."
In fact, it has been a bumper week for Anupam with two back-to-back
releases - "Dhokha" and "Victoria 203". He is doing Ashok Kumar's role in
a remake of the 1973 hit "Victoria 203".
"And look at the contrast in the two parts on the same Friday.
'Dhokha' is a stark serious look at extremism. I play a traumatised father of
a woman accused of being a human bomb. In 'Victoria 203' I'm this aging
guy with a roving eye, an incorrigible skirt chaser," Anupam told
"Some people might object to an actor of my stature playing such a
lech, just as some people objected to a Kashmiri Brahmin playing a
Muslim. But acting gives me the freedom to explore avenues galore. I can
move from one extreme to another. I was the victimised father in Mahesh
Bhatt's 'Saraansh'. I'm a victimised father in 'Dhokha' today."
About his skirt chaser's role in "Victoria 203" Anupam says: "I really
enjoyed that role. Om Puri and I had great fun playing the roles originally
done by Ashok Kumar and Pran. But I didn't watch the original. I wanted
to interpret it in my own way. But we retain the innocence of the two small
-towners from the original."
Anupam also put in a guest appearance in last week's "Heyy
"In 'Heyy Babby' I was playing the character of Shah Rukh's dad from
'Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge'. It was a spoofy homage to one of the
biggest hits of Indian cinema."