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Sharad Kelkar feels proud to have played the role of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on screen

While actor Sharad Kelkar has played many roles on the big screen, nothing has been more special to him than to play former Indian ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on the big screen.

Talking about getting to play this iconic role, Sharad says, “It’s a matter of pride for all of us, not just Maharashtrians. He established Hindavi Swarajya in India. He’s a pioneer.”

Sharad who played this iconic role in Tanhaji: The Unsung Hero also shares that he was surprised to have been offered the part. Talking about the same he says, “I had never met or spoken to Om Raut, the director before. I was out of the country when he called and said he wanted to meet me. He then said he wanted me to play Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and I took two minutes before asking ‘why me?’ He said he wants his king to look like this, and have a personality like mine. We did a look test, and when I came to the office in that attire, everybody went quiet. Then I realized they were looking at me. That gave me a lot of confidence. For a Maharashtrian, Marathi actor, this role is once in a lifetime. It’s the biggest achievement.”

His role in Tanhaji did bring him a lot of appreciation. Calling it ‘a matter of pride,’ Sharad also shares how in school, he got to study very little about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He shares, “I was born and brought up in Madhya Pradesh, so I would always see a very small story on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in our textbooks. I requested the Chief Minister of MP then to put a chapter or prescribe separate books in schools, so people would get to know about him more.”

Well, Sharad’s connection to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has only deepened after the film and the actor feels quite blessed to have gotten to play this part.

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