Actor-filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar on Monday announced that he is cancer free, two months after bladder cancer surgery.
The 63-year-old Manjrekar said he was diagnosed with the disease during the production of his upcoming directorial venture “Antiem: The Final Truth” starring Salman Khan and Aayush Sharma.
He said the filmmaker shot the last leg of the actor during his chemotherapy session.
Manjrekar told reporters, “During ‘Antim’ I was diagnosed with cancer, when I was diagnosed with cancer and I was taking chemotherapy, I shot the last part. Today I share it with all of you. Glad I am cancer free.”
The director was speaking at the trailer launch of the film, where he was joined by Khan and his co-star and brother-in-law Sharma.
Manjrekar is best known for acclaimed films such as the 1999 Amitabh Bachchan starrer “Vaastav: The Reality”, the National Award-winning “Astitva” (2000) and “Viruddh…Family Comes First”.
Asked whether it was difficult to shoot the film during chemotherapy, Manjrekar said it was fortunate that the process did not affect him much.
“I had to take chemotherapy before going in for a major surgery. I was undergoing chemotherapy during the shoot, but it did not affect me that much. I have realized that work, passion drives you. I always think positive.
“When I was told I had cancer, I was not surprised. I accepted it. There are many people who get cancer,[but]They fight and survive. So it didn’t bother me much. They (the team) were all caring and helping, no problem. I was quite comfortable. Both (Salman, Aayush) were very supportive.”
“Antiem” is billed as “the gripping tale of two powerful men with polar opposite ideologies”; One a cop and the other a gangster, played by Khan and Sharma respectively.
Manjrekar, who is also starring in the film, said that he did not want to work in “Antiem” but was forced to do so by the 55-year-old star. He has previously co-starred in several films like “Wanted” (2009), “Dabangg” (2010) and “Dabangg 3” (2019).
“I prefer not to act in films that I direct, because you can’t see yourself acting, you can’t really say what (to your shot), you don’t know what you’ve done. .. it was good, it was beautiful cameo, so I did… I have known Salman for so many years. He is like a brother to me, we have done many films together.
The filmmaker said, “Directing him was not difficult. It was easy because I knew what I wanted from him – to say the lines and convey their meaning… I was not overwhelmed or intimidated by him.
‘Antim’ will be released in cinemas across the world on November 26. The film will be distributed globally by Zee Studios.
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