Biographical film Swatantrya Veer Savarkar, based on the life of Indian revolutionary Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, is currently streaming online on ZEE5 Global from May 28. Helmed by Randeep Hooda, who also plays the titular role, the film sheds light on Savarkar’s struggle against British colonial rule.

Connected to India sat down for an exclusive chat with Hooda, who not only made his debut as a director with the project, but also tripled as the co-producer and co-writer of the movie.

Asked how he landed multiple job roles in the project, Hooda said the director, who was initially hired for the job, “treated it like any other masala film”, forcing the producers to fire the person and train their guns at him. Hooda, who lost a significant amount of weight to get into the role of Savarkar, said he was committed to do the film and therefore took it upon himself to perform disparate roles.

Speaking about the treatment of the film, Hooda said his camera angles and editing were different and he shot it like a gangster film. “You can show [this film to] your non-Indian subcontinent friends with pride and they will understand it, and probably get to know more about India than just Mahatma Gandhi and nonviolence,” the actor told CtoI.

Apart from Randeep Hooda, the film stars Ankita Lokhande, who plays Yamunabai Savarkar, the protagonist’s wife.

Watch the full interview below.