Utkarsh Has Grown Up, Excited Father Anil ‘Gadar’ Sharma Speaks About His Son

He also opens up about the early days of Priyanka, how Ameesha rooted for his son, and lots more

Your last film Singh Saab The Great didn't do well...
Trust me, I am not sure why it failed.

Singh Saab The Great Failed.jpg
Image Source: movieupfilm1

There must be some reasons in your mind about its poor performance?
(Thinks hard) Maybe, its release wasn't timed well. It got sandwiched between Ram Leela and Bullett Raja. Nowadays the market is flooded with films. Add this to the fact that sometimes the film's subject becomes stale by the time it makes it to the theatres, like it happened with me in Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo. When people were bored by the Indo-Pak conflict, it saw the light of day. After Singh Saab The Great, I decided to take a break. 

Image Source: cinemalik

The failure of Singh Saab The Great must have been a setback to start a new film immediately. Funding is a problem these days...
Not really, because I have contacts and goodwill in the industry. So, funding was not the reason why I stopped in my tracks.

It was just that I decided to take it a bit easy for some time. My daughter (Kairvina) wants to become a pop singer, so she was in the US. My son Utkarsh was also in the US. So, my wife and I flew off to the States and stayed there for a year. I also thought I have worked enough since many years and I should rest a bit.

I met a lot of people from Hollywood, and was amazed at the overwhelming response I received there thanks to Gadar: Ek Prem Katha.

What was Utkarsh doing in the US?
He was doing a 4-year comprehensive course which involved direction, acting, editing, photography and many other aspects of film-making. My son has always been good at academics. He excelled in Maths and Science in school.

Uttkarsh as a child actor in Gadar.jpg
Image Source: theglamorousdiva

What made you think that you should launch him as an actor?
80 per cent of his scenes in Gadar (where Utkarsh was a child artiste) did not require a retake. I knew from then that he had it in him to make it as an actor.  

Meanwhile, I was hearing in the US that many directors in India are finding it tough to sign the younger crop of actors. As it is I wanted to get back, so why not launch my own son?

Gadar Movie Poster.jpg
Image Source: friendsofirony

I returned to India and started scripting his first foray into Bollywood. It is going to be called Genius. It is my script--- but Utkarsh was definitely involved at every stage of writing. Trust me, I was at his college function in the US a few months ago, and I was told that the film he had made as a part of his course was the best among the lot. 

Who's the girl opposite him in Genius?
I am inviting girls from far and wide to apply and secure the role of the female lead on aspcasting.com and geniuscasting.com. I am getting several applications, but the part is still up for grabs. Most heroines seem to emerge from Mumbai, but this time I want to give a fair chance to every small town as well.

Your discovery Priyanka Chopra has reached heights...
She was the only heroine I launched without a screen-test (she debuted with The Hero : Love Story Of A Spy). I knew she had something special about her. She had come home and simply spoken to me for about 30 min, and I called my wife and asked her to give a token signing amount in the form of a cheque. She has sent me good wishes for Utkarsh via a video. Dharamji has also wished him (smiles). 

Coming back to Utkarsh. What made you cast him in your film at such a young age?
It was just that I wasn't getting anybody who would fit the role. Ameesha insisted that we should cast Utkarsh, she said nobody else could be better than him. He had long hair and everyone used to say that he looks like Lord Krishna. Frankly I didn't want him to disturb his studies, so I had a chat with my wife (Suman). Utkarsh said 'Baba, if you think I should do this role, I am ready'. I was overwhelmed by such a mature reaction (see the picture of young Utkarsh in Anil's arma on the sets of Gaddar below).

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What is Genius going to be about? 
It's a story about an intelligent boy, inspired by Lord Krishna who I think is the ultimate genius. He is born in Vrundavan and tops at Gurukul. We plan to shoot in my hometown, Mathura. A large stint is scheduled for overseas as well. I shall release it sometime next year.

Thumbnail Image Source: ozee