Exclusive: Pawan Shankar On Playing Antagonist In Bhuj: The Pride Of India

Lehren's exclusive with actor Pawan Shankar as he talks about his role in 'Bhuj: The Pride Of India'. He also sheds light on his struggle in the Bollywood industry.

This year’s Independence Day release ‘Bhuj: The Pride Of India’ has been raking positive reviews from the critics and audience. Set during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the film is about the life of IAF Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik. The stellar cast comprises of Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt, Nora Fatehi, Sonakshi Sinha, Sharad Kelkar, Ammy Virk, Pranitha Subhash, Ihana Dhillon and Pawan Shankar.

Actor Pawan Shankar, who made his acting debut in the popular TV show ‘Siddhant’ in 2004, plays the antagonist in Bhuj. His character, Omani is a Pakistani ISI chief who plans to destroy the runway of Bhuj.

When asked about how he was selected for the role, Pawan told, “There were many people shortlisted for the role of Omani. A look test was organised and the director liked me and my work. That’s how I was finalized.”

Actor Pawan Shankar told that it was not difficult for him to play the character of Omani. He believes that the artist needs to get into the vibe of the character he is playing and then everything falls in line. He said that he was initially nervous that his character might go unnoticed. “By God’s grace, the critics and audience have noticed my character and liked it as well,” he said.

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Commenting on the successful release of the film, Pawan said, “It is a divine feeling. It took me 16 years to achieve this milestone. I have seen many ups and downs in the Television industry and I reached a point where success or failure didn’t affect me anymore.”

Bhuj: The Pride Of India was earlier scheduled for theatrical release on 14 August 2020. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the release got delayed and was finally released on Disney+Hotstar on 13 August 2021.

When asked if the film’s delay bothered him, Pawan said, “It took me a long time to be where I am today. So, I was not bothered if it was taking a year more. I have never got anything easy in my life. There was a time when I used to think that I might not be able to achieve success at all. But I didn’t give up. The success I am getting today should have come my way 10 years ago.”

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Pawan shares screen with Nora Fatehi in the film. Appreciating Nora for her hard work and dedication, Pawan said, “She is a very hardworking girl. She puts double effort than the rest. She has big dreams and is always prepared for her role.”

Pawan Shankar made his acting debut with ‘Siddhant’ in which he played the lead role and the show was nominated for an International Emmy Award. He was then also seen in ‘Jeet Jayenge Hum’, ‘Kya Huaa Teraa Vaada’, and ‘Aisa Des Hai Mera’. He also played a negative role in the 2019 TV show ‘Guddan Tumse Na Ho Payega’.

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