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Sudhanshu Pandey on his ‘Anupamaa’ character

Sudhanshu Pandey plays Vanraj in ‘Anupamaa’

Sudhanshu Pandey plays one of the most challenging roles of his career in Utsav Plus show ‘Anupamaa’. He is seen as Vanraj Shah in the popular drama, and the audience gets to witness him portray a new emotion or show a new side of him almost every day. Though the actor has been playing the role for almost two years now, he confessed that it is not getting any easier.

“I’ve been playing Vanraj for two years now, but it is not an easy task to play the character even today. Vanraj is not a very straight and simple character, it’s multi-dimensional. And it’s got so many layers and different sides to his character where sometimes he is a very good man, sometimes very difficult, sometimes he’s angry, sometimes jealous, sometimes emotional, sometimes vulnerable, and sometimes he is over-the-top. So with every scene that comes my way I have to strike a balance where I can’t look like a complete villain and I can’t look like a completely positive guy as well,” he said.

“It is never an easy task, but yes, I have got the grip on it and I think I’ve got the hold of it. I’ve done enough hard work on it to be able to get into the scenes very easily. When you’re playing a character like this you keep evolving yourself as an actor and that evolution has helped me in playing this character. I love playing Vanraj, and I guess that is why I’ve been blessed with awards for best acting for two years in a row and that is the biggest reward for me,” he added.

Vanraj is a crucial part of ‘Anupamaa’ as the most important twists and turning points in the show were brought by him. It won’t be wrong to say that he has been the hero of the show since the very beginning. Sharing his thoughts on this, Sudhanshu said, “At the cost of not sounding arrogant or receiving ire from the audience, I would say that Vanraj Shah has been the hero of the show to a great extent. Obviously, because from the very beginning Vanraj was the male protagonist of the show and also, because of the kind of drama that he has created to get people’s attention and their reactions, whether they are negative, or positive, or sympathetic.”

He added, “So, Vanraj has been the hero in terms of the show, but I won’t call him heroic because he doesn’t do anything heroic. He is a very real character like we are in our real lives, sometimes complicated, sometimes with mood swings. We have such phases in our lives where we are full of ego, but then we become better and we calm down, and then again we flare up. So it’s a very real character.”

But would you call him a male-chauvinist? “Vanraj Shah is a male-chauvinist to a certain extent, but I won’t say that he is a complete male-chauvinist because he’s not like that with his daughter or his sister, or his mother, but yes, with his wife he was to a great extent. I wouldn’t say that it was a male-chauvinist kind of behavior, it was more like your job is to take care of the house, and my job is to provide for the family. That is his main contention and argument, so I don’t agree that he’s a complete male-chauvinist, but undoubtedly he is a very complex guy with a complicated personality. He is sometimes acting out of emotions, and out of frustration too, so yes, he does behave badly at times when his ego overpowers him,” he said.

While the character has garnered a lot of attention mostly for his attitude towards his wife, Sudhanshu appreciates one trait of his reel avatar. He said, “The one good thing about Vanraj is that he is completely dedicated to his family and that’s what he lives for. He lives for his family, his parents, and his kids, and that’s what is very beautiful about Vanraj’s character.”

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