It happens only in India. Actors are compelled to play roles not suited to their age. Filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia who has lately been doing some serious acting , has been selected by Anand L Rai to play Shah Rukh Khan’s father in the untitled film that Rai is currently directing.
In the film Shah Rukh plays a dwarf in a non-dysfunctional family where there is no genetical history of any physical disability.
Why Dhulia for Shah Rukh’s father?
“When Aanand asked me to do the role I didn’t ask him why he chose me. I was just happy to be playing the superstar’s father,”saysDhulia who has been devoting substantial time to acting roles in recent years. He played important roles in Nikhil Advani’s Hero and Ketan Mehta’s Mountain Man.
But it’s strange to have a 50-year old actor play father to a 51-year old superstar.
Says a source in the know, “It’s a family of physically robust people. Aanand wanted Shah Rukh’s dwarfed personality to be pitched against an actor who stood tall and imposing on screen hence Tigmanshu.”
Traditionally ,in the domain of Indian cinema, the actresses are known to play mother to heroes their own age or even younger. I remember Waheeda Rehman’s shock and embarrassment when, after playing Jeetendra’s leading lady in Jyoti Bane Jwala she was signed to play his mother two years later in Maqsad.
Is Tigmanshu Dhulia the male Waheeda Rehman? He laughs off the comparison. But just think. If our 50-plus heroes insist on playing college students and the likes there will be an acute shortage of actors playing their parents.