‘Anupamaa: Namaste America’, a prequel to the popular TV show ‘Anupamaa’ streamed on Disney+ Hotstar recently. The show saw a few new faces along with some old cast in the series. Sudhanshu Pandey reprised his role of Vanraj Shah in ‘Anupamaa: Namaste America’ but sans his moustache, as he had to look 17 years younger.
“The moustache had to be taken off for ‘Anupamaa: Namaste America’ to give Vanraj a younger look. And I think it was a good call because when you take the moustache away, it takes away many years from your face and a little bit of change in the hairstyle made me look younger because I had to be 17 years younger at that point in time and I think it did a good job. But I did not miss the moustache while shooting it. Honestly, the moustache is not a real one and it restricts me from smiling or laughing, so without it, I could laugh and smile freely, and obviously, it took away so many years of age from the character. I had a great time shooting for the series and I was able to do so much with my face because I was more mobile facially,” he said.
The moustache enhances the character and gives it a more stern and dominating look. The actor agreed to it, and said, “I was given the moustache for the kind of character that it is, and with the moustache, the character’s physicality becomes harder and stricter and stern. He doesn’t smile a lot, and with the moustache, his personality gets enhanced and he looks more like an angry man with an overpowering personality. So the moustache does make a lot of difference.”
Moustache or clean-shaven, Sudhanshu asserted that it’s never easy to play a character’s younger self. He said, “It can never be easy to play a younger character. Although I look like myself in ‘Anupamaa: Namaste America’ because in real life I don’t have a moustache so I think I was able to carry off that look well. Just a little bit of change in hairstyle and I was comfortable and happy that I’m looking younger, which I was supposed to look like in the show, and that made my job very easy. There was so much more happiness in his life at that point in time, so, he wasn’t that complicated or complex or angry all the time. And it did make a huge difference.”
The actor revealed that he had a great time shooting for the series and shared that he was in awe of his co-actor Sarita Joshi, who played Moti Baa.
“My experience of shooting for ‘Anupamaa: Namaste America’ was brilliant because there were new additions to the cast and there was Sarita Joshi ji who was like a fireball. She’s got so much energy. It was a great experience shooting with her and we were having such a laugh during the show because everybody was trying to look younger and sometimes we would break into laughter between shots while trying to do things that would be slightly more distinct from what we are playing in ‘Anupamaa’,” Sudhanshu concluded.