Kumud Mishra says that he agreed to be part of Sultandespite not having much screen time as director Ali Abbas Zafar stayed true to the film despite having a huge star like Salman Khan playing the title role
On Bagging Sultan
I had received a call from Ali (Abbas Zafar), who asked me to read the script. He offered me the role of the father of Aarfa played by Anushka Sharma. I loved the script and while reading it, I knew there was nothing much for me in the film but there were a few scenes that impressed me enough to say ‘yes’ to Sultan.
Ali had written the script in such a way that I could visualise the entire film in my mind by just reading the scenes. That’s how powerful Ali’s writing is. The film speaks of a man’s journey, so there are dull moments as well as good moments, like when he achieves what he wants. But then comes the fall, how a man gets destroyed even after achieving everything in life. So the journey and the script made me say yes to the film.
It was clear that I needed to look an ex-wrestler, so I had to be a little heavy, which was not a problem. Then we worked on my hair and my ears. Usually, a wrestler’s ears get hurt while wrestling, so the nerves swell. The backstory was that I was a very good wrestler in my youth but circumstances prevented me from achieving what I wanted to. Later, I was blessed with a daughter whom I made sure would achieve all those things. I also run an akhada, where I teach wrestlers as I want people to grow in this sport.
I didn’t need much preparation as I was born and raised in Uttar Pradesh and my PT teacher in school was a weightlifter. I also have a sports background, which has exposed me to several coaches, how they performed, their body language etc. All this remained with me and I drew on it for this film.
On Ali Abbas Zafar
I believe Ali has grown a lot as a director and this is his best film so far. He has stayed true to the characters and the place where he shot. Also, when you make a commercial film, especially with someone like Salman Khan, you tend to focus on his character but he has stayed true to the script and the characters whom he has developed very well in his script. What he narrated to us was there on the sets but he is also very open to improvisation. Some scenes in Sultan were very emotional, which he allowed his actors to perform on their own. What I loved most was how he stayed true to the film.