Anand on why Hrithik was the best choice for S30

Published On: 2020-08-22

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Anand Kumar On Why He Wanted Hrithik Roshan To Play Him In Super 30 And Changing The Script 13 Times



Source: Film Companion 

Date: Jun 19, 2019 



I wanted the story to be both authentic and interesting but not too filmi, says the mathematician Mathematician 

Anand Kumar has been coaching underprivileged students for IIT-JEE since 2002. The cinematic adaptation of his life, Hrithik Roshan-starrer Super 30, is set to hit theatres on July 12, 2019. Kumar spoke to us about the casting process, why his story needed to be told and what he hopes people take away from it:



 This is the third cinematic adaptation of your life “ Discovery Channel made an hour-long documentary on you and Yoichi Itoh, chief economist of STB Research Institute, Japan, also made a film on Super 30 for NHK channel, why was making Super 30 then important to you? What are the challenges of telling this story but keeping it fresh? 


It's been quite some time since the Discovery channel put out their documentary. The Japanese film did quite well, I was invited to Tokyo and now I have a good relationship with that country. But this story had not reached the common man. And not via a star. Our film's writer, Sanjeev Dutta, wanted the film to reach the common man. He worked hard and his efforts have now borne fruit“ Hrithik Roshan is starring in it, Vikas Bahl is directing it, it's about to release. It's a meaningful story because it's a story about dreams, about faith. It's the story of one mans victory in the face of difficulties. It will inspire people and that's why it was important and necessary. 



You said writer Sanjeev Dutta wrote this story nine years ago but no one was ready to make a film on it. What was the process of getting this made like then? 


When he wrote the story, people couldn't believe that the story of a teacher had become so beloved. Slowly, the facts started coming to light, Super 30 became more well known, these children went abroad and started working in prominent positions, they became scientists etc in big companies. So then people started realising that if the child of a autowallah, the child of a plastic bag seller, the child of a tea seller had reached such heights, then there had to be something to this. They began to believe the same story they didn't nine years ago. 




How involved were you with the script , you said the makers had to change it 13 times because of you. Did you take an interest in casting choices? 


I wanted the story to be both authentic and interesting but not too filmi. So there's not much that has been changed. I'd say it's been improved upon 13 times. And my family and friends are very happy with it. I believe that the film will do well.  During the casting process with the director and producers, many people said, ‘Hrithik looks like a Greek God, he’s handsome but you look like a dehati. How will this work? But when I spoke to him, I saw his dedication. He said he would work for a year, lose his muscles, lose some weight and learn the language. That's when I knew he would do a good job and the whole team welcomed him on board happily. 



Given the reach of cinema, what do you hope people take away from your story? 


I know that this film will reach a lot of people. I hope people realise that this is the story of a man who fought against the odds to work for those 30 children. I hope teachers working all over the world get love and strength through this movie. I hope underprivileged children begin hoping that if they too work hard, no matter how difficult it seems, they will surely be successful. Privileged children will see that if underprivileged children are doing so well, they too should work hard. This story will inspire a lot of people.







Super 30 star Anand Kumar defends Vikas Bahl: Mehnat bekaar nahi jaati. Unhein clean chit mil gaya



Source: India Today 

By: Vibha Maru 

Date: Jun 19, 2019



 In an exclusive interview with IndiaToday.in, Anand Kumar, Patna-based mathematician whose life story will be shown on the big screen in Super 30, talked about what went behind making Super 30, why he wanted Hrithik Roshan to play his character, his take on #MeToo allegations against Vikas Bahl and more. Bollywood has caught on to the trend of biopics and why not. The industry has given back-to-back hits, showing extraordinary lives of ordinary people on the big screen. Super 30 is one such film in the coming days. The film marks Hrithik Roshan's return to the big screen after two years, playing the role of Patna-based mathematician Anand Kumar, who turned many underprivileged kids' lives around, teaching them for free and helping them secure a coveted Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) seat. Super 30 the film is a reflection of the 'Big Indian Dream' and the hard work that goes in into achieving it. In an exclusive conversation with IndiaToday.in, Anand Kumar takes us behind the scenes of Super 30 and elaborates on how his life has been captured on reel for the audience to witness on the big screen. Excerpts from the conversation: 






From the script to deciding the lead actor, Anand has had a significant voice in the decision-making process of the film. He chose Hrithik Roshan to portray his character on screen as he saw the actor reflect the same sincerity towards his craft as Kumar did towards teaching. Anand says, "I don't want to hurt anybody's sentiment but I met a lot of actors, directors and producers, but when I met producer Madhu Mantena, I had a feeling that he is good. Since I was involved in the decision-making process of the film, I, along with Madhu, selected Vikas Bahl to direct the film. Then the three of us decided to cast Hrithik Roshan in the film." About why he narrowed it down to Hrithik to play his role on the screen, he says, "The way Hrithik showed his happiness and excitement after meeting me, I felt like he is such a big star, he will definitely give his 100 per cent to the film. And I knew, if he dedicates himself [to the film], things will be aptly shown on the big screen. His willingness to do the film was commendable." 






Anand hadn't heard of Vikas before meeting the director but when he heard of Bahl's film Queen, there was nothing more to be asked. "I had never heard of Vikas Bahl before Madhu Mantena ji mentioned him to me. He told me that Vikas directed Queen. I had watched Queen with my wife and the film appealed to me. At that time, I realised that he is a good, hardworking director. When I had a conversation with him, I was really impressed and I knew that he would work really hard on the film," he says. Working with Vikas wasn't a cakewalk. Anand and Vikas had a few heated discussions before they decided on the script. "I understand that you have to keep certain things to entertain the audience in a film, but you should always show certain incidents exactly like they happened to maintain the authenticity of the story. So we had certain heated discussions on the script but, in the end, we finalised the script after changing it 12 times," he said. 






Super 30 required both Vikas and Hrithik to study Anand and his life in depth and they did exactly that, says Anand. He explains, "They have done justice to my story. Vikas ji used to go to villages to meet kids and would talk to people to give more depth to the script. He would go to remote areas where there would be no roads. You cannot travel in vehicles there, so he would walk to reach such places and talk to people. The film is the result of this hard work." He adds, "I remember Vikas telling me, 'This is the biggest film of my career and this is not just a story of a teacher, it also reflects the lives of those underprivileged kids who made it big. So it is a film that will reflect all those stories.'"





Hrithik was last seen on the big screen in 2017 in Kaabil. Since he was returning to the big screen after such a long time, he had to make it count. "The makers and Hrithik studied my character well. They made a video of 150 hours of me. It had clips of me teaching and the way I talk to my family members. Hrtithik used that video as a case study to understand me. He also called me six-seven times to Mumbai to have discussions with me. One time, he was so engrossed in talking to me that he almost walked out of his house barefeet while escorting me out. One of his staff members came running to remind him that he had forgotten to wear his slippers," Anand says. 





Ever since the trailer of Super 30 was released, it has been trolled no end. The criticism has mostly been directed at Hrithik Roshan's accent and his darkened complexion. Anand, however, explains why both these elements were crucial to the film. "Hrithik has worked really hard for the film. He even had a trainer who taught him the proper dialect. I had multiple conversations with the trainer also. I told him not to teach Hrithik Bhojpuri but to teach him Hindi in a Bihari accent, like I speak," says the mathematician. Kumar adds, "If I talk about colour, when you teach kids in immense heat in a room that is made of tin-shed, your skin tone gets darker and since they saw me like that in my videos, they replicated it in the film. Log ye baat samajh nahi rahe hai." 





 Super 30 suffered a setback when Vikas Bahl was accused of sexual misconduct while the film was in production. The director eventually got a clean chit in the case. When we asked Anand if he thought Vikas's controversy would affect the future of the film, he said, "The film's shooting was done by the time the controversy surfaced and I knew Vikas Bahl. My father told me mehnat bekar nahi jaati, toh mujhe yakeen tha, aur aisa hua bhi. Unhein clean chit mil gayi." '





Not just Vikas, Anand himself was also embroiled in a controversy. A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed against him in the Gauhati High Court in 2018 by four students of the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati. They claimed that Anand didn't disclose the names of the students of his Super 30 batch who cleared the exam as he wanted to divert enrolments towards his private institute, the Ramanujan School of Mathematics. Anand clears the air, "I have never met those four kids, let alone teaching them. Those kids are from Assam; I have never taken donations from the Assam or Indian government, so we don't fall under PIL. I believe that the kids are innocent. Some people have made them file the PIL under pressure. I also want to know from which coaching institute have those kids prepared for the exam and if that coaching had taken some donations, because I haven't taught these kids." "We gave the answer to the court and ended the matter. Now, they have said that they will file a PIL again. These people who have made them file the PIL are very powerful. I can't name them, but things will be clearer when you see the film. They have attacked my brother and have even tried to attack me. That's the reason Bihar government has given me four commandos to protect me," Kumar signs off.






Hrithik Roshan is hugely invested in Super 30: Anand Kumar



Source: TNN 

Date: Jun 19, 2019 

By: Rachana Dubey 



Hrithik Roshan's upcoming film Super 30 has been in the headlines for numerous reasons for the last two years. Right from the time the film went on floors, everyone had been wondering how the Greek God of Bollywood would metamorphose into a common man with huge achievements and a long story of struggle. The first look, songs and trailer has silenced many wagging tongues. The mathematician feels the film will eventually silence his critics and the actor will prove why he is the best choice for the part. Talking about the actor, Anand Kumar says, "I think I could not have found a more invested and dedicated actor than Hrithik Roshan for this film. There were several people who came to me for the rights and so many actors had expressed their interest in the film. But the way Hrithik explained his vision and his approach to the film and the way he wanted to work on the part, including picking up the body language and the leheza in which I speak, i felt was the best person to play me. He is hugely invested in Super 30. I remember there was an occasion when I met him. He was so lost in our conversation that our meeting got extended by a few hours. He kept everything else on hold for the day. I had no other business to attend to but he had a lot of work. He ignored calls to just focus on what I was saying. He forgot to wear his chappals when he came to see me to the car. I felt a sense of respect in the way he spoke to me -- he calls me Anand sir like my other students."