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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Sharad Malhotra on playing the villain in Naagin 5: Had cold feet on first day of shoot

Naagin 5 actor Sharad Malhotra revealed that while his fans are enjoying him in this new avatar, his mother has been sulking, seeing her well-behaved son turn evil on screen.

Written by Sana Farzeen | Mumbai | Updated: October 1, 2020 3:12:43 pm
sharad malhotra, naagin 5Sharad Malhotra plays Veer, the reincarnated avatar of icchadhari cheel in Naagin 5. (Photo: PR)

Fantasy-drama Naagin 5 is off to a great start with Surbhi Chandna, Sharad Malhotra and Mohit Sehgal. While Chandna and Sehgal play star-crossed lovers, Malhotra plays the villain on the show.

Having never done a negative role in his career, Sharad Malhotra, in an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, shared that he was extremely nervous on the first day. While his fans are enjoying him in this new avatar, the actor revealed that his mother has been sulking after watching her well-behaved son turn evil.

Here are excerpts from the conversation

You are playing the antagonist for the first time in Naagin 5. What made you take it up?

After playing positive roles for 14-15 years, your mind has been conditioned that way so whenever you hear a part like that, you lap it up. I was taken aback when I was offered Veer as I have never done anything like this on screen. The biggest factor for me was that somebody thought of me to do something like this. However, honestly, I pray every day that my fans connect to this and give me the same amount of love. It’s a big risk and challenge but I trust Ekta and the channel. It takes guts to even think that I could play this part, and now I have to live up to that expectation.

Are you enjoying being the bad guy?

I had to make an entry in a grand setup, dressed in a leather jacket, and give an evil expression, while everyone was looking at me. I don’t want to lie, I was sweating profusely and had cold feet on the first day. It was really tough and a very different experience. However, when I see the overwhelming response of people, it gets me emotional. They enjoy the conniving Veer and his badass attitude. The only one sulking right now is my mother. She is shocked seeing her well-behaved son turn so evil. Even my wife never expected it, but she has no choice (laughs).

There’s a certain section of the audience that shuns shows like Naagin. What would be your reply to them?

Honestly, had it been any other show, I too would have second thoughts. But it’s Ekta Kapoor and the Naagin franchise. As I said, I am literally surrendering myself to the best people in the business. I know they will make something amazing and beautiful. I may not be too keen on supernatural but Naagin is fantasy drama. There’s magic involved. And then we have all heard stories of icchadhari naagin as a child, so the nostalgic factor is also there. We know it’s a make-believe world. And like most kids, my nephew and niece love the show. As for criticism, there will always be people who troll. But over the years, I have learnt to take it all with a pinch of salt. My career would have taken a different route if I would have fallen prey to negativity.

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Naagin is a female-oriented show, and this season there are two male leads. Having played a hero in all your previous shows, was there any kind of apprehension you had about taking up the show?

I have always liked taking charge, that’s how I have been conditioned. However, this is the demand of the season, character and story. Also, as per the trend, there has always been a naag, naagin and the antagonist. Thus, I have taken charge as the bad man this time. And I think it’s a bigger responsibility for me. The makers have a certain image for Veer in their mind. It’s jittering but I am trying my best to bring alive that image on screen.

You’ve spoken about the challenge of taking up a villain’s role. Any actor whose work you followed to prepare?

I do watch a lot of films and web shows but aping someone is something that I have never done. I always like to maintain my own individuality and bring alive my persona in the character I am playing. I think the makers also trust me with this that I would play the part in my particular way. I can take certain nuances from the best villain but that would make me look like a fool. Everyone always has their own special touch in the parts they play. I can give names like Amrish Puri, Gulshan Grover or even the Joker. But it’s all done and is in the books of history. I must add though, after playing Veer, my respect for these actors has grown manifold. It’s not easy at all.

Naagin 5 airs on Colors.

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