When Jayantilal Gada approached Amitabh Bachchan to be the voice of Bheeshma Pitamaha, the iconic character in the Hindu mythology Mahabharat in his animation film by the same name, the actor did not want to be associated with a cartoon film.
“Bachchan rejected the idea. He had said, ‘Mujhe cartoon mat banao.’ So we decided to make a dummy film for him and it took us two years to do that. When he saw the film, he instantly agreed to be the voice and face of Bheeshma Pitamaha,” says Gada.
When asked if the other actors too agreed to have their face for the mythological character, Gada says, “The dummy film was shown to all the actors and they were also impressed,”
On querying about how the idea of making such a film come about, he says, “I have been wanting to make Mahabharat. It is such a big subject, with so many layers to it. Since we decided to make an animation film, we thought it would be nice if each character has a face that people can identify and are familiar with, and instantly connect. So after studying each character, we approached the actors and they supported us. That is because of our good will. What is amazing is that none of the actors charged us a penny,” states Gada.
Elaborating on each character, he says that his creative team studied each character with so much care that a feature film can be made on each one of them. “But we had to show each story in just two hours. This is a unique idea and it is for the first time in the world that something like this is being made. The film has been insured for Rs.50 crore which is also the budget of the film, another first for a film,” says Gada.
Draupadi has the voice and face of Vidya Balan, Anil Kapoor is Karan, Manoj Bajpayee is Yudhisthir, Ajay Devgn becomes Arjun, Sunny Deol is seen as Bheem and Anupam Kher as Shakuni.
Presented by Jayantilal Gada, Mahabharat is produced by Gada’s family, comprising nephew Kushal