Exclusive! Tahir Raj Bhasin: It took me about a month to get out of Arjun Bhatia's character

05 November,2023 02:37 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  Athulya Nambiar

Tahir Raj Bhasin speaks about going underground to get into the physicality of his character from Sultan Of Delhi and why took him a month to shake off the character

Tahir Raj Bhasin. Pic/Instagram

Key Highlights

Tahir Raj Bhasin was seen on screen after over a year-and-a-half with the recently released Disney+Hotstar show ‘Sultan of Delhi'.With back-to-back appearances on screen in films like 83, Loop Lapeta, and web series ‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein' spread out in the first quarter of 2022, one expected to see more of him on screen. Ask him about the long absence, the actor tells in an interview with mid-day.com, "I have been shooting for ‘Sultan of Delhi'. We have been shooting for a year and a half. It's been very challenging and very interesting. I think anything of impact and quality always takes time to make."

Director Milan Luthria who is well known for exploring the underworld of Mumbai in the films 'Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai' and its sequel 'Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara' stepped into the long format storytelling by exploring the largely untapped history of Delhi. The director had said that his first choice for the role of lead actor Arjun Bhatia was Tahir Raj Bhasin. Tahir reveals he asked the director about casting him, but only after they were done shooting. "He told me that he saw a certain amount of maturity and stillness in 'Mardaani' and after that, he followed the work and saw a growth that convinced him that I could do this part. It is my first time playing an alpha male, a man's man hero; including taking on action for the first time to the extent that is being seen in Sultan Of Delhi. That is why it is important to go underground and work on the physicality of the part and get into the part where people see you on screen and believe that yes he can be a gangster in the true sense of the word. "

Talking about Luthria's style of working, Bhasin added, "He is someone who believes in prepping hard. By the time you get on set, you are focusing on spontaneity and not on what has been planned during the pre-production period. And this starts right from how much weight you need to put on for the part; I put on 10 kgs which took four months to do with a trainer and then he goes into 4-5 rounds of costume trials. He comes with you to figure out what the hair of the character should be and what our inspiration are to get that character."

As an actor, Bhasin feels that the biggest compliment that came his way was when a fan said that they trust a film or series if they see his face on this poster. Talking about the kind of projects that he takes up, Bhasin explains, "It has to be clutter-breaking and not been done to death or been seen before. Personally, it has to be a kind of part that I haven't explored before or even if I have explored before not in a similar setting or genre. If you look at 'Mardaani', 'Loop Lapeta' 'Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein' are very different from each other. The easiest thing for an actor to do is if one thing is done well or is a hit, then to follow it with 4 things that are exactly the same. I very consciously stay away from that."

What has been challenging in the past one and a half years is both 'Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein' and 'Sultan of Delhi'. I did both these projects back-to-back. I finished shooting 'Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein' and then got into 'Sultan of Delhi'. They are so diametrically opposite from each other. One is a meek character who stutters before speaking 'and the other one is an alpha male macho. When you do things that are so opposite from each other, it ends up being challenging. It took me about a full month to get out of Arjun Bhatia's character, the protagonist of 'Sultan of Delhi' because when you do something different you imbibe a lot of character's essence. Simple things like the way you walk , your choice of clothes or what kind of watches or car you enjoy starts to get affected," the actor said on characters that left a mark on him.

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