Not many were aware but Mahesh Manjrekar had been working on changing his lifestyle and looks working on his diet and body. The new Mahesh is a lean, mean and rather fit person, a good 35 kilos less than his previous 105 kilos when he began working out.
Now, he is looking forward to the release of his latest film Antim: The Final Truth, which stars Salman Khan and Aayush Sharma. However, the filmmaker had his share of troubles while making the film. And nothing light either!
Mahesh tells us, “When shooting Antim, an unfortunate thing happened. I got cancer and shot the last portion of the film when I was undergoing chemotherapy. Today, I am cancer free,” says the director of films like Vaastav.
Salman tells us that Mahesh didn’t tell anyone about his condition. “He just didn’t tell anyone; instead, he started shooting the film. When the shoot was over, he went and got himself operated on and now he’s good,” adds Salman, who shared screen space with Mahesh in Dabangg.
The filmmaker considers himself lucky because when he realised he had cancer and had to undergo chemotherapy, the therapy did not affect him at all. “It didn’t shock me when they told me that I had cancer. It was a huge surgery and hence I had to take chemotherapy. But I maintained a positive look because I believe work and passion drive you. So I said to myself, ‘There are so many people who get cancer and they fight it and survive.’ Slowly, the entire team got to know about it and they, including Salman, were very helpful and caring, making sure the film was getting done well,” he says.
Despite his personal challenges, Mahesh believes that his film had its share of good fortune too. “I was lucky and so was Antim. In spite of COVID, we managed to finish the shooting of the film rather smoothly and rather quickly though we shot in portions. The best part was the production was good so we did not have an issue asking for anything or waiting for it. I could mostly just focus on making the film,” he adds.
As for the story of the film, Mahesh believes it was not only good but also right up his alley. “I had a very good script, which was based on something and was not only to my liking but also in my preferred genre. It’s a commercial film but still a real film. And the film’s script was ready by the time we started working on it,” adds Mahesh. “Indeed, I’m happy with the performances of everyone — Salman, Aayush and Mahima Makwana.”