Randeep Hooda On Shooting In Cellular Jail: ‘I Felt Walls Crashing Down On Me, Started Screaming For Help’

New Delhi: Actor Randeep Hooda has been getting rave reviews for his portrayal of Veer Savarkar in his directorial debut ‘Swatantrya Veer Savarkar’. The film, also starring Ankita Lokhande, is currently running in theatres. The actor recently recounted the challenging experience of filming at the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Savarkar was imprisoned at the jail, also called as Kaala Paani. 

Randeep Hooda on his physical transformation
In a candid conversation on the BeerBiceps podcast, Randeep shared insights into embodying Savarkar’s persona, undergoing a physical transformation by shedding several kilos for the role. “I started feeling like Savarkar was the director himself,” Randeep quipped. Reflecting on his experiences during filming, he revealed, “Yes, in every frame. There were times when I really felt that. I used to feel sometimes, while working, I used to see a shadow, of myself sometimes, and I used to think, ‘Wow, that looks like Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’.” 

Furthermore, Randeep delved into the challenges of shooting at the Cellular Jail. Securing permission from governmental bodies was no mean feat, but vital for the film’s authenticity. Recounting a harrowing incident during filming, he shared, “I wanted to spend some time alone in Savarkar’s cell, so I asked to be locked inside it. I was okay for a while, but then, I felt the walls crashing down on me. I started screaming for help, but my voice wouldn’t travel. I became claustrophobic, I began to lose my breath,” he said on the podcast.

Experience of shooting at Cellular Jail 
When asked about spending nights in the jail, Randeep described an eerie silence pervading the atmosphere, with no breeze and occasional light and sound shows. However, he admitted to sensing the lingering presence of past inhabitants.  

“Alag hi type ka sannatta hota tha wahan pe raat ko. There would be no breeze. But the location was never shut down completely. They would have light and sound shows there at night. I could only sense that there used to be people here once, and now they aren’t. Sometimes, in the wings… But there were so many people, so you can’t tell… But nobody would wander too far,” he said at the podcast. 

‘Swatantrya Veer Savarkar’ has collected Rs 11.35 crore nett in India so far. 

Also Read: Swatantrya Veer Savarkar Review

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