Actor Ankur Bhatia says he was in awe of actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan while shooting for "Sarbjit", and feels she has given one of her career's best performances in the upcoming biopic.
Directed by Omung Kumar, the movie is based on Sarabjit Singh, an Indian national, who died following an assault by fellow prisoners at a Pakistani jail.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in 'Sarbjit'
The film stars Randeep Hooda in the titular role and Aishwarya as Sarabjit's sister Dalbir Kaur. Ankur, who plays Aishwarya's husband in the film, is all praise for the 42-year-old "Jazbaa" actress.
"'Sarbjit' is one of her best films and performances. I was completely in awe of her. She is a huge star, but at the same time very jolly, nice and humble. She used to talk about her baby and made sure everybody was comfortable on the sets," the actor told PTI.
Ankur, who resides in New York, began his career in 2010 in Payal Sethi's "Grant St Shaving Co", which was produced by filmmaker Mira Nair.
He then went on to work in a negative role in Apurva Lakhia's "Zanjeer", which also starred Sanjay Dutt and Priyanka Chopra.
For his role in "Sarbjit", the actor had to undergo several rounds of audition and grow his beard to look like a sardar. "I had actually auditioned for a film called 'Mehrunnisa' which was being directed by Sudhir Mishra. That film never got made. Later, I was asked to record some scenes of 'Sarbjit' and send it to the casting directors before I finally went to Omung Kumar's office and gave the audition."
Ankur says the role was "demanding" as he had to portray the conflict of a character, whose age group he did not identify with. "Baldev is a man who loves his wife very much, but also feels he doesn't get that much of attention as his wife is constantly into the mission of rescuing her brother. It was very necessary for the conflict to come out...," he said.
"At times it was challenging because the character starts out as young and transitions into old. I did not belong to the age group, but had to keep myself in the zone of an uptight man which I am not in real life," the actor said.
"Sarbjit" will release on May 20.