Prosenjeet’s character of the suave, sexy and dynamic politician in Dibakar Bannerjee’s Shanghai is inspired by Shekhar Kapur. Apparently, Dibakar’s team dug up pictures of Shekhar and the clothes he wore 15-20 years ago and used them as reference points for Prosenjeet’s physical appearance in Shanghai. Says Dibakar, “When I wrote the role of a sexy politician, I had Shekhar in mind. But we needed someone in his 40s so we chose Prosenjeet for the role.
Dibakar admits Prosenjeet in Shanghai walks, talks and dresses like Shekhar. “Shekhar had this absolutely crazy dress sense which worked perfectly for him. He would mix and match unlikely clothes and colours, and still look dynamic. We dug out Shekhar’s sartorial adventures from the Internet and we used pictures to design Prosenjeet’s clothes.”
But more than the clothes it’s Shekhar’s attitude that Prosenjeet will work on the hardest for his character. Says Dibakar, “When Shekhar speaks, he doesn’t have to raise his voice to be heard. There’s an inherent magnetism and wisdom to his personality that fits with Prosenjeet’s character. Women will get a new sex symbol with his character. Prosenjeet says, “We thought of the way Shekharji used to look 15-20 years ago. He was the thinking woman’s sex symbol. I love the idea of being in the same space. But I don’t mind being the non-thinking woman’s sex symbol either,” he smiles.