Empathy Towards a Serial Killer

Published: 28th September 2015 03:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th September 2015 03:17 AM   |  A+A-

After Highway (2014) and Rang Rasiya (2008), Randeep Hooda plays an enigmatic central role of the infamous Charles Sobhraj in Main Aur Charles. Randeep has immersed himself into the character completely and is winning rave reviews for his performance from those who have seen the film’s trailer.


Your new film Main Aur Charles is based on famous criminal Charles Shobhraj. How close is the film to his life?

Serial.jpgIt’s close to life. Police officer Amod Kanth gave us the information about Charles and the incidents that took place. Of course, this is a film so we had to fictionalise it a bit.


What did you find fascinating about your character?

According to our study, Charles also doesn’t know who he is. His biggest problem was that he came from a dysfunctional family. He roamed a lot around France and Vietnam. He had no identity of his own so he kept on creating his own identity aur woh khud hee kho gaya (and he lost himself in it). Charles is good at human relations; he has mastered human interaction and that sets him apart from other people. He says that he will get out of any situation as long as people are involved. He has spent 30-40 years in jail. When he is outside jail, he feels less important and that is why he keeps doing things and goes in jail. He is a great marketer…he knows how to create stories and then sell them.


What kind of preparations did you make for this film?

We are interested in him and have tried to explore him in the film. We have spent many years detailing his character and we hope he will like it.


Did you reach out to the real Charles?

We did not want to disturb him. We did the research, we had the charge sheet that was filed and we got information from Amod Kanth. This is an account of the jail break. I would like to make him watch the film so that we can show him that it is accurate.


Do you empathise with him?

I empathise with him; how else can I play a character? But I do not feel sorry for him. He knows what he is doing. In fact sometimes when I get up from sleep, I feel that maybe he knows what I’m doing. It is strange and I feel he is around and understands what I would do. That is the kind of omnipresence the character has.


Are real life gangsters glamorised in cinema?

This guy is not a gangster; he insists that he has not done anything wrong in his life. Other gangster maybe glamorised because of Charles Sobhraj; but he himself is very glamorous.


You played Raja Ravi Verma in Rang Rasiya too. Is it a challenge to play a real-life character?

How much truth you can instil in it is between you and the director but mostly you have to follow a script, not the real life. A script is a conscious filtration of real life; otherwise we will have to make a film that is 20 or 40 years long.


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