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Got a lead role after struggling for 30 years because of Anand Dighe, says Prasad Oak

The actor thanks director Pravin Tarde and producer Mangesh Desai for considering him for the role of the late Shiv Sena leader in Dharmaveer.

State minister Eknath Shinde, Prasad Oak and Kshitish Date (who plays Shinde in Dharmaveer)

Keyur Seta

Prasad Oak is playing the real-life character of the Shiv Sena's late Thane district strongman Anand Dighe in a biopic titled Dharmaveer. At the launch of the film's music album recently, he spoke about what he had learned about Dighe during his research.

“I have heard and read about him a lot,” Oak said. “A lot of people told me little details. One thing that stayed in my mind was that this person always helped those who faced injustice. He did that not only when he was alive but also when he left us.”

Explaining the last bit, Oak said, “An actor like me got a lead role after struggling for 30 years and doing 95 films only because of him. I consider this a blessing from Dighe saheb. I thank all those individuals who helped me while doing this film.”

Oak is grateful to the film’s producer Mangesh Desai, who is venturing into production with this film, for considering him for the role: “He called me and said, ‘Prasad, you are not getting what you want and this is my sincere attempt to give that to you.’ We have such pure-hearted people. Dighe saheb gave such sanskar back then and I came to know about that now.”

Mangesh Kulkarni of Zee Studios, Mangesh Desai and Pravin Tarde during the music launch of Dharmaveer

The actor was equally thankful to the film’s writer and director Pravin Tarde. “I don’t have words to thank Pravin Tarde for giving me this role. Without him, I wouldn’t have been able to play this character. Every word written by him is precious. During our meetings I realized that he had complete knowledge about the subject,” said Oak.

Produced by Sahil Motion Arts and Zee Studios and distributed by Zee Studios, Dharmaveer will be released in theatres on 13 May.