On Monday morning, actor Pradhuman Singh had his first tryst with stardom. He was flooded with calls. Everyone wanted to know what the only actor to have emulated Osama Bin Laden on screen, was thinking, when the US President announced that the wanted Al Qaeda leader had been shot dead.
“I stopped counting after 20. My phone was ringing non-stop. Not too many actors’ debut films have made headlines after they’ve been out from the theatres since six months,” says Pradhuman, admitting with straight-faced humour that he was upset to hear about the terrorist’s death. “I’ll miss Osama. He’s someone I played in my first movie. In fact, whenever he’s discussed in future, my debut will also be spoken of. So, I owe him something, right?”
Around the film’s release in June, Walkwater Films (producers) had received an anonymous letter threatening them to shelve the film as it supported Osama. But Pradhuman, who read dozens of web pages and watched hundreds of videos to get his act right, was clueless.
“I was immersed in the preparations. I didn’t know how Osama spoke, the words he stressed on and if he was a left or right-handed man. Whoever was threatening us probably didn’t know that the film was a satire on the after-effects of the 9/11 attack on Asians,” he argues. “I can proudly say that if Americans and the Taliban leaders had watched it, they would have loved it.”
Osama’s death, however, will remain a historic moment for the world. And one that brings both, joy and alarm. “I’m sure he had some logic behind his acts. He thought he was right in whatever he was doing. Ditto the American leadership,” he says. “So, although nearly everyone in the world is rejoicing his death, it’s an alarm that shouldn’t be missed. There might be another bigger leader in the making… you never know. Their face is dead, not their cause.”