Veer Savarkar Biopic: “Randeep Hooda had only 1 khajoor and 1 glass of milk for 4 months until he lost 26 kg to play the title role,” says producer Anand Pandit – Times of India

Randeep Hooda will soon be seen in the titular role in ‘Swatantra Veer Savarkar‘, but he is not just acting in the film, but has also directed it. Reportedly, he had lost 18 kg for the film. But was it really 18? An hour ago, we saw the teaser of ‘Swatantra Veer Savarkar’ going online. How tough has it been as a journey for Randeep to play the role of freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in the biopic?
And, how did the entire project fall in place? ETimes got into a telephonic chat with the film’s producer Anand Pandit. Read on…

How did the project of ‘Swatantra Veer Savarkar’ fall into place?

I have always greatly admired Veer Savarkar since many, many years. I always thought that he had been a victim of politics and not got his due.
One fine day, Sandeep Singh came along with Randeep Hooda to my office. They said they want to make a biopic of Veer Savarkar and asked if I would like to come on board as a co-producer. I had a certain amount of apprehension, but when Randeep himself started narrating how they were envisaging the film- I was extremely impressed and finalised it with them in just one day.

Reportedly, Hooda lost 18 kg for the role…

He lost not 18 but 26 kg for the role. When he came to my office with Sandeep Singh, he was 86 kg.
He was so involved in the character and till date is, that to essay it on screen, he said that he won’t leave any stone unturned. He had only 1 khajoor and 1 glass of milk for 4 months until the shooting got over (pauses).

Please continue…

He even shaved off his hair at exactly the same portions where Veer Savarkar had no hair.

Any prosthetics were used?


Did you go on the sets to supervise the shoot?

Well, I did. We shot in a village near Mahabaleshwar. We shot it in a structure that belonged to the Peshwas.

Did you take Veer Savarkar’s grandson’s permission to make this film?

Randeep had met him even before he came to me. But I don’t think a permission per se is required. The information is all in the public domain. Tomorrow if I want to make a film on Gandhiji, I don’t need permission.

Mahesh Manjrekar was supposed to direct the film…

That’s right. But he had some date issues. Then, I suggested to Randeep that why doesn’t he do it himself because he is so much into the Veer Savarkar character from the word ‘Go’.
Randeep has done a wonderful job. After the release of this film, I think a lot more people will know a lot more about Veer Savarkar.

How are you going to release the film?

We are going to go all out. We plan to release it in 2000 screens at least.

When is the release date?

We have tentatively planned it for September.

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