Mumbai, May 25 (PTI) Actor-producer Sohum Shah watched the videos of political leaders Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar to prepare for his role in the upcoming political series 'Maharani', which is set in Bihar.
Shah, 37, will be seen in the role of Bheema Bharti, a man who rises above oppression to become the chief minister of Bihar. 'Maharani' revolves around Huma Qureshi's character Rani Bharti, an illiterate housewife, who finds herself in the top post.
The Subhash Kapoor-created show is set in the '90s but it is not based on the life of Rabri Devi, former Bihar chief minister and wife of Yadav, the Rashtriya Janta Dal president, who also served as the CM of the state twice -- from 1990 to 1995 and 1995 to 1997.
'He was the chief minister of Bihar but nothing of this like it (series) is based on Lalu Prasad or Rabri Devi was conveyed to me. I don't think it is based on them,' Shah said.
The actor said he had about a month's time to prepare for the character and study its motivations and ideology.
'We didn't have any dialogue coach. I relied on director Subhash Kapoor, who helped me a lot as he fluently speaks Bihari. Also, our writer Nandan (Singh) is from Bihar. I took help from them.
'Besides the dialect, it was important to get the body language and nuances correct. I saw interviews of a lot of politicians, including that of Bihari politicians like Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar. I got a lot of help from the videos,' the actor told PTI.
Shah, best known for his roles in 'Tumbaad', 'Simran' and 'Talvar', said coming from a small town like Ganganagar in Rajasthan, he could relate to his character and the instances of inequality he faces.
'Certain things are inbuilt in the system and there is a need to change it... Education plays an important role in changing the mindset of people who understand that there is no sense in having inequality in society. Travelling is also important.
'I remember when I came to Mumbai, my mindset changed. I come from a conservative family and I did believe the rules that were made (in reference to inequality) are correct. But when I came to Mumbai, I realised these things are incorrect.' 'Maharani', also featuring Amit Sial, Kani Kusruti and Vineet Kumar Singh, will stream from Friday on the streaming platform SonyLIV.
Kapoor is also producing the show, with Naren Kumar serving as co-producer. PTI KKP BK RDS RDS