Curated By: Dishya Sharma
Last Updated: December 04, 2023, 08:51 IST
Charu Shankar plays Ranbir Kapoor’s mother in Animal.
Charu Shankar plays the role of Ranbir Kapoor’s mother in Animal. The actress reveals how she bagged the role, despite being just one year older than him.
Who is the actress playing Ranbir Kapoor’s mother in Animal? Well, meet Charu Shankar, the woman who plays the mother of three, including Ranbir’s character Vijay, in the Sandeep Reddy Vanga. Although she plays Ranbir’s mother in the movie, in real life, she is only a year older to him. For the unversed, Animal revolves around a father (Anil Kapoor) and son’s (Ranbir Kapoor) toxic relationship. However, the mother in the film has had everyone talking.
Charu has limited screen time in the movie. Despite it, Charu holds the screen well with Anil and Ranbir. Be it confronting Anil’s character over being a bad father or witnessing her on-screen son unleash everything he has been holding back for decades, she draws your attention in the scenes she has.
According to her IMDb profile, Charu Shankar was born on August 17, 1981, a year before Ranbir Kapoor was born (September 28, 1982). Not only is the audience pointing out that the age gap is less between the two stars but Charu herself has revealed that even Sandeep Reddy Vanga felt she was too young to play Ranbir’s mother in the movie.
Speaking with ETimes, Charu said, “I got a call straight from the director’s team early last year, but when I went to meet Sandeep, he was very polite and he said, ‘Thank you for coming’, but I think you are too young to play Jyoti in the later part of the film. At the time I had already shot for ‘Rocket Boys’. So I showed him photos of myself as Indira Gandhi on my phone, saying ‘I love the challenge of becoming that which I am not’. He was quite taken aback when he saw those pictures, and he was like, ‘Okay, well, it’s quite something that you’ve managed to achieve’. Many months later, I got a call saying I have got the role. Sandeep later told me that he had auditioned hundreds of actors, but he had never forgotten how I sat across the table from him looking so different from the images on the phone he held.”
She added, “From the very beginning, Sandeep was very clear and I was very clear that (her) character is not a pushover. I wanted her to interject, to try and stop this, to push back. Sandeep heard me out and we workshopped it. And in the process we were really able to create a well rounded, fully fleshed out character. I really appreciate this about Sandeep.”
Who is Charu Shankar?
While she has everyone’s attention with Animal, Charu has showed her versatile acting chops in several other films. Earlier this year, she was seen Rani Mukerji’s Chatterjee vs. Norway (2023). She was also seen playing the role of Indira Gandhi in Rocket Boys. She also played a vital role in Delhi Crime, The Empire and A Suitable Boy. She was also seen in an episode of Made in Heaven season 1.
Her other works include The Darjeeling Limited, Hindi Medium and Talvar. Besides acting, Charu is also a dancer and choreographer. She is said to be an alumna of Modern School and holds a Masters degree in English from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University.