Karan Tacker on Special Ops: Shot my audition video in a public washroom
Karan Tacker reveals how he bagged Neeraj Pandey's Special Ops as he makes his web debut with the espionage thriller.
The chocolate boy of the telly world, Karan Tacker has been missing from daily soaps for almost seven years. Now, the actor is back in the thick of things with his maiden web offering — Neeraj Pandey's Special Ops on Hotstar. As he gears up to explore the digital medium, the actor discusses why he felt the need for creative rejuvenation and how the spy thriller is a dream come true.
Edited excerpts from the interview.
Why have you been off the radar for so long?
The last daily soap I did on television was Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behnaa Hai in 2012. When it comes to content on TV, there has been a slight slump. After a point, I felt I had done it all on television and there was nothing left to explore creatively.
Does it mean you're done playing goody-two-shoes characters?
For the moment, I am done. That said, I don't want to leave TV because it has put me on the map. I have immense love and respect for it. Television takes you into people's living rooms; it has a mass reach. But I needed to take the next step.
How did you bag Special Ops?
Neeraj Pandey is someone I have always aspired to work with. In fact, I had asked my lyricist friend, Manoj Muntashir, to introduce us in 2017. I was in Mussoorie when I got a call from the casting agency, which asked me to send a self-test for the audition. Unfortunately, the public washroom there was the only place where I got some [cellular] network. So, I shot my audition video there [laughs]. Somehow, I got a call-back!
What made you believe that the series would be a perfect web debut for you?
As actors, we are as good as our director and the script. Neeraj Pandey is known for etching out his characters beautifully. How often do you see every actor on the poster of a series? That's his mindset. So, when you are working with him, you know he is going to be true to the content.
However, this couldn't have been your first web offer.
I did get plenty of offers. But you visualise yourself in a certain light and [gravitate towards such parts]. Nothing that came my way left me charged until Special Ops.
Espionage thriller is a different ball game from romance dramas. Was it challenging?
Overcoming the fear of heights was one of the toughest things I had to do [during the shoot]. One of the scenes, which had my character contemplating suicide, required me to stand on the ledge of an apartment on the 25th floor. Since I have vertigo, it was particularly challenging even though all safety measures were taken. At one point, I even mustered the courage and climbed on the ledge, but stepped back within a minute. As I stepped back, I started crying, and I am not embarrassed about it. It took us about four to five hours to film the scene.
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