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Got to learn a lot from young talented actors in The Whistleblower, says Sachin Khedekar

The actor, who plays the idealistic dean of a popular medical college in the show, spoke about his character, the shooting process and his forays into Telugu cinema.

Suyog Zore

Veteran Marathi actor Sachin Khedekar recently made his OTT debut in SonyLiv's The Whistleblower, which is based on the infamous medical entrance examination scam. The actor, who had been eagerly waiting to explore the new format, plays the idealistic dean of a popular medical college. "My character's name is Ashwin Bhadoria. He is a doctor and a dean who runs a popular medical college and decides to officially investigate his own college's admissions and his son's doings," Khedekar told Cinestaan.com.

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His character came as a big surprise for viewers because the makers had opted to keep him under wraps. "There is a reason why we didn't reveal my character in the trailer, but I won't disclose it here; instead I want the audience to find out on their own by watching the series," he said.

According to the artiste, the series is very important, but not just because it marks his OTT debut. "This series and my character show the audience what is exactly happening around us. We all know doctors are very important. They save lives and improve our well being and that is why we wish that their profession should be prevented from turning into a profit-hungry business. We have seen in these times, how not only doctors but even other medical staff put their lives on the line to save ours. And that is why it is imperative to make sure that there is no corruption in this process of choosing these people because our lives depend on them. And if we realize that there is corruption, people should raise their voice against it," he said.

Khedekar and the other cast members met several doctors and visited medical colleges and emergency rooms to understand how the system works. "When you have to play the role of a doctor, you need to at least have a basic understanding about their work process, and not just us actors but even other departments benefited from these visits. Once you watch the show, you will notice how our team has recreated everything by paying attention to minute details," he said.

Manoj Pillai, who is a popular ad filmmaker, made his foray into helming a show with this web-series. "I really enjoy working with new directors and actors because I feel they can show me in a completely new light. We shot for only four months but before we even began the shoot, Manoj and his writers had spent two years on research. When the writer and director have already put in so much effort, as an actor you feel relieved because then you don't have to worry about other aspects and only focus on your acting.

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This is only Ritwik Bhowmik's second web-series after the popular Bandish Bandits (2020), and Khedekar is very impressed with the young actor. "Yes, he is a newcomer, but he has such an in-depth understanding of the craft of acting that I sometimes felt like he is a very experienced actor. I really admire him as an actor because he showed such great understanding at such a young age. Some people may think this is an exaggeration, but I believe we senior actors also got to learn a lot from these young talented actors. And the credit should also go to Manoj too because he had auditioned a lot of kids," he said.

Sachin Khedekar in Halahal

Interestingly, Halahal (2020), which featured Khedekar, is also based on the same medical examination scam, and just like this series, the actor also played the doctor and father in that film. "Actually I expressed the concern to our director, Manoj, that people might think I'm doing the same kind of roles. But if you think about it, even though Halahal's basic premise is about a medical exam scam, the film's story only revolves around a father who is in search of his daughter. But the story and scope of Whistleblower are much larger. Here we throw light on the importance of the media, the plight of doctors who got caught in the crossfire and how politicians used this scam for their benefit. All these things are explored in-depth in this show, which was quite impossible to do in a short feature film". 

Khedekar has become a familiar face in Southern films especially Telugu and Malayalam ones. In fact, in the past five years, he has appeared in more Telugu films than Marathi and Hindi projects combined. But, it all began accidentally. "I had gone for an audition for a Hindi film in Mumbai and there they told me that they were making the film in Hindi and Telugu, so that's how my journey in South films began. And since then I have done five to six films till now,

"It was a very unique experience because here I had to act without even understanding the language. I had never done that before. Trying to learn a new language and its various nuances was a very exciting thing for me. I can proudly say now that I can understand at least some basics of the Telugu language. Also, I got introduced to a new audience, which is always a good thing for an actor," he said.

Khedekar even dubbed his dialogues in two Telugu films. "I try my best to dub my own lines in every film, but if my character is based in some rural area which has its own unique dialect, things become a little difficult because you also have to make sure you are getting the nuances of that dialect correct, so then they just hire someone else to dub my dialogues, but I always prefer to dub my own dialogues, be it in Telugu or Malayalam."

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