Sharad Kelkar slips under the skin of Raja Phogat, a notorious gangster, in the upcoming ZEE5 Original crime thriller Rangbaaz Phirse. Owing to his menacing roles as a villain on-screen, Sharad has cemented his position as one of the best baddies in the industry. However, it is also true that the tall, dark and handsome actor has all the potential to become silver screen’s leading man. Having debuted in the year 2000, Sharad has consciously picked his projects over the years, adding a variety of roles under his belt. The Gwalior boy, who had a stammering problem when he started out, has done exceedingly well in an industry that somewhere thrives on godfathers and last names. As we prepare to watch yet another outstanding stint from Sharad in Rangbaaz Phirse, let’s take a look at his journey to stardom.
Even after entering the entertainment industry in 2000, Sharad’s claim to fame came with Saat Phere – Saloni Ka Safar and Sinndoor Tere Naam Ka. These Zee TV serials helped Kelkar grab the limelight and become a household name. It was around the same time that he made his Hindi and Marathi film debuts as well. The map to success was certainly filled with tons of roadblocks as Sharad had a stammering problem and had absolutely no connections in the industry. Brought up by his mother single-handedly in Gwalior, Sharad graduated in Physical Education at the age of 23. On a visit to Mumbai, he landed an offer to walk the ramp, out of the blue. However, he returned to his hometown, finished his MBA and started working in a telecom company.
Sharad came to Mumbai again to try his luck. He even did an ad film but got no work for the next two years. Eventually when he did land a TV show, he was replaced because of his stammering problem. Later, Sharad was offered another show, which changed his life professionally and personally. It was on the sets of his first TV serial that he met his wife Keerti Gaekwad Kelkar. Things took a turn for good. Sharad and Keerti even participated in a dance reality show together, while the former went on to host many other shows on the small screen.
Alongside TV projects, Sharad also expanded his filmography with appearances in Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ramleela, Lai Bhaari, Rocky Handsome, Sardaar Gabbar Singh, Raakshas, Bhoomi, Baadshaho and Housefull 4 among several others. He has also established himself as a successful dubbing artist, having lent his deep baritone to the Hindi version of SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali series, the X-Men series, Captain Marvel, etc.
Even though Sharad is a sought-after name today, the audience identifies him as a bad boy on screen. But that doesn’t affect him one bit, because it’s all acting after all. “We have to act honestly, it is not like I as a person resonate more with such characters so that I can do it easily. There are always such instances throughout and there is more scope as well. This is why I always keep switching between roles from an antagonist to a positive role. I want to have that interest in terms of characters and acting. Otherwise, it gets monotonous,” he told us in an exclusive interaction.
Besides Rangbaaz Phirse, Sharad will be seen in Taanaji: The Unsung Warrior as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
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