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Animal: Who is Charu Shankar? Ranbir Kapoor's on-screen mother who is just an year older to him

In Animal, Charu Shankar plays Ranbir Kapoor's mother. The actress discusses how she landed the part despite being only one year her senior.

Animal Who is Charu Shankar? Ranbir Kapoor's on-screen mother who is just an year older to him  RBA
First Published Dec 4, 2023, 12:08 PM IST

What is the name of the woman who plays Ranbir Kapoor's mother in Animal? Meet Charu Shankar, the woman who portrays the mother of three children in the Sandeep Reddy Vanga, including Ranbir's role Vijay. Although she plays Ranbir's mother in the film, she is just a year Ranbir's senior. For the uninitiated, Animal focuses around a toxic relationship between a father (Anil Kapoor) and his kid (Ranbir Kapoor). On the other hand, the mother in the film has gotten everyone talking.

Charu plays a little role in the film. Despite this, Charu maintains a strong screen presence with Anil and Ranbir. She attracts your attention in the sequences she has, whether it's confronting Anil's character about being a horrible parent or seeing her on-screen son unleash all he's been holding back for decades.

Also Read: 'Animal': Ram Gopal Verma lauds Sandeep Vanga Reddy; calls it a 'social statement'

Charu Shankar was born on August 17, 1981, a year before Ranbir Kapoor (September 28, 1982), according to her IMDb page. Not only is the age disparity between the two performers being noted by the audience, but Charu also stated that even Sandeep Reddy Vanga believed she was too young to play Ranbir's mother in the film.

In an interview 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 also 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.”

Also Read: Deepika Padukone at Academy Museum Gala: 'Pathan' star first Indian actor invited to this event

Who is Charu Shankar?
While Animal has captured everyone's attention, Charu has demonstrated her broad acting abilities in a number of other flicks. She appeared in Rani Mukerji's Chatterjee vs. Norway (2023) earlier this year. She was also featured in Rocket Boys as Indira Gandhi. She also appeared in Delhi Crime, The Empire, and A Suitable Boy. She was also seen in a season 1 episode of Made in Heaven.

The Darjeeling Limited, Hindi Medium, and Talvar are among her other works. Charu is a dancer and choreographer in addition to being an actor. She is believed to be a Modern School alumni with a Masters degree in English from Delhi University's Lady Shri Ram College.

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