Saurabh Shukla won his first National Award with Jolly LLB Shukla had given up hope of winning an award due to the kind of roles he got in his career but when filmmaker Subhash Kapoor, offered him a judge role in Jolly LLB (2013) Shukla was excited. In an interview Shukla said that though on paper the role of Judge Tripathi in Jolly LLB appeared dull and dreary. But filmmaker Subhash was very clear that it was the anchor of the film. In addition both Subhash and Shukla added an extra amount humor by making the judge more realistic than the ordinary judge seen in Bollywood film. The judge in Jolly LLB is shown as an ordinary human being who has his family woes, he has physical sickness, he gets tried and above all he is cares about humanity hence when it comes to judgment he pronounces a path breaking judgment. Saurabh Shukla went into the skin of the character so well that the film became a commercial success. It was made on shoe string budget of Rs 10crore but it earned Rs 17 crore. That’s not all the film fetched Saurabh Shukla National Film Awards for Supporting Role (Male) and Screen Awards for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male). The sequel of the film with Akshay Kumar also became a bumper hit and established Shukla as an actor par excellence.
Saurabh Shukla grew around art and culture in his family As a child Shukla grew in an atmosphere where there was art and culture all around. His father was a vocalist and Head of department of music and fine arts at Delhi University. His mother holds the record of being India’s first lady tabla player. His elder brother, who lives in Botswana, southern Africa is also into music. So music was all around the house but young Shukla wanted to do something different. Since from the tender age of 8 years he watched movies he was attracted by cinema and wanted to make a film. He says the bug of making the film bit him when he was in class VI and he began by writing a story. Though he could never write more than 10 to 12 lines but his parents would marvel at whatever he wrote. Saurabh Shukla took to full fletch theatre at college When Shukla joined Delhi’s Khalsa College his wings in creative writing took shape as he came in contact with likeminded friends who wished to make films but had no finance hence they started doing theatre. After completing college Shukla took up professional theater in 1984 and joined Sakshi Theatre in Mandi House in Delhi and seriously did theatre till 1991. Saurabh Shukla joined NSD’s Repertory Company After becoming a professional in theatre Shukla joined NSD’s Repertory Company as a teacher. The objective of NSD’s Repertory Company is to guide the graduates of NSD with professional theatre, do theater festival and take students on tour and expose to World Theater. Here Shukla had the pleasure of working with legendary stage director Ebrahim Alkazi.
Saurabh Shukla was spotted by film director Shekhar Kapur When Shukla was enjoying theatre at NSD his colleague Seema Biswas was selected by filmmaker Shekhar Kapur for his film Bandit Queen. Hence Shekhar Kapur would often visit NSD to meet her and discuss about the film. Shekhar Kapur who had come to NSD to see a performance of Seema Biswas in a play. Incidentally Shukla was also doing a role in the same play. He saw Shukla's essaying his part though he did not offer him any role. Shukla was left confused but he did not give much thought to it as he was not interested in cinema was content doing theatre. However next day, Tigmanshu Dhulia, the filmmaker who is today known for his films like Paan Singh Tomar , Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, Gangs of Wasseypur etc, came to meet Shukla. In those days Tigmanshu Dhulia was assisting Shekhar Kapur and he asked Shukla to come to Mumbai as Shekhar Kapur had selected him for the film Bandit Queen. An excited Shukla came to Mumbai but life was not easy. Saurabh Shukla took to TV for survival Though Bandit Queen was hit but it was not a commercial success hence Shukla had to do television for his survival. He started as Vijay Anand's sidekick Gopi in the detective television serial Tehkikaat aired on Doordarshan (1994). His other television serial include Zee TV's 9 Malabar Hill. In addition he did his famous play 2 to Tango, 3 to Jive. When he was busy doing TV film director Sudhir Mishra called him and signed him for his film Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin (1996). With the film Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin, Shukla won his first nomination from Screen Award, a big achievement. Later Vidhu Vinod Chopra cast him in a small role in his film Kareeb as Bobby Deol’s father. But nothing seems to hit the bull’s eye and Shukla had to wait until Satya happened! Saurabh Shukla became famous as Kallu mama in Satya Shukla shared a rented house with 3 people viz. Vijay Krishna Acharya( who later became famous as Dhoom 3 director), Tigmanshu Dhulia (who later made films like Paan Singh Tomar , Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, Gangs of Wasseypur) and Manoj Bajpayee (Satya, Raajneeti, Aarakshan, Gangs of Wasseypur). The three would keep struggling and help each other. When Manoj Bajpayee got Ram Gopal Verma’s Satya, he introduced Shukla to Ram Gopal Verma (popularly known as Ramu) . During the meeting Shukla told Ramu that he is also a good writer. Ramu gave him a scene to write which Shukla wrote marvelously hence Ramu appointed him as a screenplay writer along with Anuraag. While working on the script Ramu came upon an ideal to cast Shukla in the role of Kallu Mama. The idea clicked and Shukla got his first commercial success. After Satya, Saurabh Shukla had a lean phase but Barfi changed everything After Satya, Manoj Bajpayee became a star and Anuraag Kashyap became a popular filmmaker but Shukla was the only one who was not able to enjoy the success of Satya. He says that for six months he had no good work and he was forced to become a teacher at FTII for survival. He was disappointed with his career. Anuraag invited him and narrated him about his film Barfi with Ranbir Kapoor. The news injected energy. The success of Barfi, made Shukla quite popular and he did many films like Jolly LLB, Phata Poster Nikla Hero, Gunday, Kick, PK.
|#||Released Date||Type||Credited As||Movie|
|1||28 Nov 2025||Film||Supporting Actor||Bhediya 2|
|2||27 Dec 2024||Film||Supporting Actor||Jolly LLB 3|
|3||29 Dec 2023||Film||Actor||Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai|
|4||29 Dec 2023||Film||Supporting Actor||Raid 2|
|5||29 Dec 2023||Film||Actor||Manohar Pandey|
|6||30 Dec 2022||Film||Director||Jab Khuli Kitaab|
|7||22 Jul 2022||Film||Supporting Actor||Shamshera|
|8||03 Dec 2021||Film||Supporting Actor||Tadap|
|9||05 Feb 2021||Film||Supporting Actor||Aadhaar|
|10||22 Jan 2021||Film||Supporting Actor||Madam Chief Minister|