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Hrithik Roshan-starrer Super 30 is all set to release on 12 July. It’s based on the true story of Anand Kumar, who started his coaching classes named Super 30 where he tutored underprivileged students who couldn’t afford the expensive IIT-JEE coaching classes.
Ahead of the film’s release The Quint caught up with Anand Kumar to listen to his views on Hrithik’s performance and look, his contribution to the script of Super 30 and the PILs against him.
We asked him about Hrithik’s ‘brownface’, which has been receiving flak on social media. Responding to the criticism, Anand said:
When I am talking to you, I will groom myself. But these people have tried to capture the essence of when I am teaching. When I haven’t combed my hair. When I have worked in the heat and sun. They have tried very hard and done a brilliant job at it.Anand Kumar, Founder, Super 30
What was the inspiration behind starting Super 30?
In 1994, I got selected for Cambridge University for higher education. But we didn’t have the money. My father was in postal services as shown in the film. We didn’t have the money to even buy a ticket for the flight. He got increasingly worried and he passed away because of that. Then I thought that there are so many kids out there like me who give up on studies because they don’t have the financial support. My mother used to make ‘papad’ and I would go around selling it. We made a living out of that. Then I started keeping these kids at home and teaching them.
So you started doing this free of cost?
For Super 30 we don’t take a single penny from anyone. I keep them at home with my family and they are like my family. This invokes a will to do something also. We don’t take any help from anyone. Whether it’s the Chief Minister or the Prime Minister…Mukesh Ambani, Anand Mahindra had said to take some money from the CSR fund... but till date, I haven’t taken any donation from anyone. In fact, I give tuition classes in the evening and make money out of that and with that we manage living for the kids, family and our volunteers.
So did you read the script of the movie or have you contributed in any way?
Whenever there’s a biopic filmmakers take rights for the story. Then they visit their homes, understand the story and write. But my case was different. I chose them. Not just the script, but who will direct it, who will act. I decided everything. And I have worked with them on the script of the film. I used to end up in heated discussions with Vikas Bahl and Sanjeev Dutta. I didn’t want any fiction in the story. Whatever’s the real truth should be out there.
What do you have to say about Hrithik Roshan’s performance?
When I was selecting Hrithik Roshan everyone laughed at me saying that he looks like a Greek god and I must select someone who could look the part. But when I met him, he said that this film is very difficult and I will take time to even get into your character. He spoke to me.He sat with me for hours and hours.When the trailer came out my mother was teary eyed. My brother was also astonished. I have a two-year-old daughter who jumped in excited saying, “Papa, papa!”
Last year there were some controversies related to you as well. There were some PILs that said that you take students from other coaching centres.
When the movie was being made there were some people who felt bad. Some people who were fed up with life who I’m not related to. They filed cases against me by spending a meagre amount. Sometimes I felt so bad and thought of leaving everything. You’ll be shocked to know while the film was being made an innocent team member was put in lock up. Why did they write on Facebook and what did they write? Then we pleaded to the highest authority of police. My brother was also attacked and his leg broke. This happens on December 22 last year. We have suffered so much, and why?Because they are making a movie on an underprivileged person. Very few people today want underprivileged to prosper.