Best known for his performances in films such as Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior and Laxmii, Operation Romeo stars Kelkar as Mangesh Jhadav, an unpredictable and greedy police officer.
“Operation Romeo is a very important film for me as an actor. There are a lot of commercial and parallel films that I do but this is a mix of both. It is entertaining and has a great subject.
“This is a dark gritty role and people haven’t seen me in this kind of part so it is like reinvention. The last four outings were all hit commercial films and my work was appreciated. I am very grateful,” the 45-year-old actor told PTI in an interview.
Directed by Shashant Shah of Chalo Dilli fame, the film is the remake of 2019 Malayalam movie Ishq, which revolves around moral policing.
Calling himself a “producer’s actor”, Sharad Kelkar said it is about time filmmakers bet high on small-budget films.
“I understand that there is a commercial success and a critical success of a film. Until you prove your commercial success through a film, people will take time to put money on you.
“In that sense, this film is important. A small film should work then the trust (will be built) not just for me but other (actors) too. For Rajkummar Rao, Stree changed the game in a big way. I think ‘apna time bhi aayega’,” he added.
Operation Romeo, to be theatrically released on April 22, also stars Bhumika Chawla, Kishore Kadam, Sidhant Gupta and Vedika Pinto.
The film posed its own set of challenges, said the Gwalior-born actor.
“This is a difficult film to do. Being in an intense and dark scene, you have to be in the same frame of mind. That was tough.” Kelkar said he doesn’t get into method acting as he believes time is money.
“I don’t overthink. I don’t go into methods. I believe a scene works in an impromptu manner. Other than rehearsing again and again, the expressions will be mechanical.
“I am a producer’s actor because I think from a business point of view. In this industry, people invest money in films, they should get a return. I try to finish as early as possible. I am a producer friendly actor. I am a workaholic and I need to act, otherwise I will go crazy,” he added.
Operation Romeo is produced by Neeraj Pandey and Shital Bhatia’s Friday Filmworks and Reliance Entertainment.
Up next for Sharad Kelkar are five projects, including a Marathi and Tamil movie, the actor said.
He will also be seen in Kirti Kulhari’s debut production venture Nayeka.