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Dubara Direction Bhukhe Pet Toh Nahi Karunga: Randeep Hooda Reflects on Making ‘Swatantrya Veer Savarkar’

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Randeep Hooda, known for his versatile acting prowess, continues to captivate audiences with his daring roles and intense performances. His latest film, “Swatantrya Veer Savarkar,” now streaming on ZEE5, is no exception. Hooda’s portrayal of the revolutionary leader Vinayak Damodar Savarkar demanded an immense physical transformation, with the actor shedding almost 32kg to embody the historical figure.

In a candid conversation with ANI, Hooda shared the unique challenges he faced not only as an actor but also as a first-time director. Reflecting on the experience, he humorously remarked, “To mai dubara direction bhukhe pet toh nahi karunga” (I won’t direct on an empty stomach again). He elaborated, “As an actor, you focus on your performance, but as a director, you’re responsible for everything—camera, writing, props. Staying hungry while managing all that was tough and made me irritable.”

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, born on May 28, 1883, in Bhagur, was a multifaceted leader and freedom fighter. Sentenced in 1911 to 50 years in the notorious Cellular Jail in Andamans for his revolutionary activities, Savarkar endured immense hardship before his release in 1924 following multiple mercy petitions. To commemorate Savarkar’s 141st birth anniversary, Hooda visited the very jail where Savarkar spent years in solitary confinement.

Bringing such a formidable historical figure to life was no small feat. Hooda and his co-stars endured numerous injuries on set, with the actor noting, “We all got injured and hurt several times, but I was constantly absorbed in my work.” His dedication did not go unnoticed; his wife, Lin Laishram, lauded his relentless commitment, stating, “I’ve seen him go through everything from the film’s conception to its success. His dedication and discipline are remarkable.”

The film, showcasing Hooda’s dedication as both an actor and a director, also highlights the challenges of portraying a claustrophobic Savarkar in the confinements of the Cellular Jail. Hooda added, “I put 22 kg back on after filming. It’s about the will and desire to do a good job, to touch the truth.”

Lin Laishram further praised Hooda’s meticulous approach, mentioning, “His performance, not just as an actor but also as a director and producer, is impeccable. He maintained a strict calorie intake, with doctors on board to monitor his health.”

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar remains one of India’s most influential freedom fighters, a lawyer, activist, writer, and politician. His works, including the seminal “Hindutva: Who is a Hindu?”, continue to inspire. “Swatantrya Veer Savarkar” is a testament to Savarkar’s legacy and Hooda’s extraordinary dedication, now available for streaming on ZEE5.

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