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We have steered clear of stereotypes: Milind Soman on playing a eunuch in Paurashpur

Actor Milind Soman talks about playing a eunuch in the web series Paurashpur and his 90s projects.

Written by Sampada Sharma | New Delhi | December 29, 2020 5:10:23 pm
milind soman paurashpurMilind Soman plays Boris in ALTBalaji-ZEE5's fantasy period drama Paurashpur.

Actor Milind Soman has taken up yet another challenge, and this time it isn’t about completing a marathon or getting the title of Iron Man. Milind has instead taken up the challenge of playing the eunuch Boris in ALTBalaji and ZEE5’s Paurushpur.

In this exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com, Milind talks about the world of Paurushpur and the nuances of playing a eunuch.

Here are excerpts from the conversation:

As soon as the first look of your character was unveiled, there was an instant buzz about it. Were you expecting this kind of reaction?

I never expect anything, but I was happy with the reaction. When the trailer came out, the response was very good. People were like ‘you look amazing’ and ‘it looks so interesting’. I think that was nice.

Tell us more about the world of Paurashpur and the character you play in the show.

This is the first medieval fantasy in the Indian OTT space. The look, the styling, the lighting, the costumes – it’s really fresh for this space.

Paurashpur is set in a world some 300-400 years ago. It is ruled by a king who is quite mean. In this world, women are not treated well, very much like our society today.

I play Boris in Paurashpur. Being a eunuch, he has been discriminated against all his life. He has been trying to find the respect he thinks he deserves as a human being. And I think that because he has been discriminated against, he realises other forms of discrimination. He sees that women are treated in a certain way, which is not on par with men, and so, he also fights for women.

The representation of eunuchs in Indian cinema or television hasn’t always been very kind. What kind of responsibility does this kind of role put on you?

There is a certain kind of stereotyping in terms of the look, the clothes, the expressions, the mannerisms, the language, and the voice. I mean all of it has become almost caricaturish. I’m not saying all the representations, but definitely most of them. So the first thing we wanted to do was really steer clear of stereotypes.

I see Boris as a whimsical person. He dresses the way he wants, but we wanted to showcase the human aspect very strongly. So, we kind of did away with all of the mannerisms, all the loud expressions. He behaves as any normal person would behave.

The 90s generation still can’t get over your Made in India and Captain Vyom days. Why do you think that era has such a strong recall value?

I always wanted to do stuff that I haven’t done before, and most of the stuff I did then was being done for the first time in India. “Made in India” was the first music video that created a huge buzz. And after that A Mouthful of Sky, which was the first English serial ever made here. Then, Captain Vyom was the first science fiction show.

I have just chosen projects that were new for me and coincidentally it was new for everyone. A lot of the things I did have not been repeated. Kids who have grown up in the 90s never had that same experience, so they still remember it.

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