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Paresh Rawal was on top of my list, says producer Farhan Akhtar

He said his Tofaan (2021) co-star was the best choice to step into the late Rishi Kapoor’s shoes for Sharmaji Namkeen.

Our Correspondent

The upcoming Sharmaji Namkeen (2022), directed by Hitesh Bhatia, marks the late Rishi Kapoor's last on-screen appearance. The veteran actor died on 30 April 2020 after battling leukemia for two years, leaving the project unfinished.

The 67-year-old essayed the title character Sharmaji, who learns to live a little in his retirement. After Kapoor’s death, actor Paresh Rawal stepped up to finish the role. It marks one of the few times that two actors in Hindi cinema have played the same part in a film.

Filmmaker Farhan Akhtar, who is the producer of Sharmaji Namkeen, spoke about how the team arrived at the decision to cast Rawal as Sharmaji. The two had acted together in last year's sports drama Toofaan (2021).
Akhtar stated, “When we discussed recasting the role, Pareshji was on top of my list. I have always been an admirer of his work, and also had the opportunity to work with him. There is a certain personality type to Sharmaji’s character, he is a person who can come across maybe tough from the outside but soft and emotional from inside.”

“I feel there is part of Pareshji that matches this kind of personality,” he added. “Everyone knows that he is an incredibly gifted actor so his ability to pull it off was never our concern. Embodying the essence of this character was the most important thing for me. He was absolutely the best person to do it.”
The Excel Entertainment and Macguffin Pictures production also stars Juhi Chawla, Suhail Nayyar, Taaruk Raina, Satish Kaushik, Sheeba Chaddha and Isha Talwar.
Sharmaji Namkeen is due to be premiered on Amazon Prime Video on 31 March.

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