September 19, 2019 6:16:14 pm
From debuting as an antagonist in Mardaani to a college stud in Chhichhore, Tahir Raj Bhasin has come a long way.
With Chhichhore doing well, we at indianexpress.com talk to Tahir about his character Derek and his upcoming film 83.
What does playing Derek’s character in Chhichhore mean to you? How relevant do you think the story is for today’s audience?
Derek was one of the most complex characters I have had to play, and from the feedback I am getting, I know that people have related to Derek. It is not only because he is a stud and an alpha male but also because he was vulnerable and had an emotional aspect to him. People have related to both sides of Derek, the sports champion and the emotional side. I was excited to be doing something like this. Most of 2018, I was shooting for the film and it completely took me back to my own college days, which takes me to the second part of this question – How relevant this story is today?
I think as a film it is extremely relevant in today’s time, because everything, be it society or social media, has such an impact on kids on these days. It defines their happiness. They define themselves as winners or losers or tall or short or beautiful or pretty. I think the film just tells you to enjoy the journey and not only think about the destination. I think that’s the reason it just exploded at the box office over these two weeks because it appealed to both the generations – whether you are a parent who is nostalgically reliving their college days through the film or students who are living their college life.
Chhichhore has entered the Rs 100 crore club. Did you expect it? How do you feel about it since it is your first 100 crore film too?
It’s a hugely gratifying moment for an artiste like me. I have been part of really good projects which I am extremely proud of and Chhichhore will stand tall among my body of work. This is my first 100 crore film and I know I will cherish this moment always.
As an actor, Chhichhore has been one of the most creatively fulfilling projects and I thank my director Nitesh Tiwari for making me a part of his vision.
How was it working with Nitesh Tiwari. What is his method of film direction?
It was such a big compliment that the director who made Dangal wanted to meet me and narrate his next film. I just felt really blessed. Working with him was like watching a magician work. Nitesh Tiwari is so particular about his pre-production, where he plans every aspect of his film. He made is very collaborative. At the same time, he plans every aspect of the film that goes beyond the script. He plans everything meticulously. He plans what jacket you will wear in the entry scene to your hair and make-up. As a result, because I was a part of this creative process, it helped me own my character.
You will be next seen playing legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar’s role in 83. How is it being directed by Kabir Khan, and sharing screen space with Ranveer Singh?
It is a matter of pride, and a lot of pressure to play the role of a legend like Sunil Gavaskar. He is India’s first cricket superstar.
About working with Kabir Khan, he is so particular about authenticity that he got a national level coach who taught us cricket exact the way Sunil Gavaskar would play on the field. I am not just learning how to play cricket. I am learning how world’s number 1 test cricketer played. What Sunil Gavaskar was to the team back in 1983 ensured that we had an icon in the team and that we were capable of winning. So to play that with honesty takes the kind of knowledge that Kabir brings with all his research and his attention to detail. Ranveer Singh is a live wire. As an actor, he is really loved by the team.
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