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Dheeraj Dhoopar: For 15 years, I’ve been playing the doting husband

Updated on: 05 September,2023 07:14 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Letty Mariam Abraham |

Foraying into web with Tatlubaaz, Dheeraj Dhoopar on mixing mediums at this stage in his career

Dheeraj Dhoopar: For 15 years, I’ve been playing the doting husband

Dheeraj Dhooper

It’s a great time to be an artiste,” says Dheeraj Dhoopar, relishing the kind of offers coming his way. The actor is set to make his web debut with Tatlubaaz. What’s more, he will also be seen as the antagonist in the second season of Dil Se Di Dua... Saubhagyavati Bhava. It is a challenge, admits the actor, to shift gears after fronting long-running daily soaps for the past 15 years. But it’s a change he is eager for, says Dhoopar as he sits down for a chat with mid-day.

Edited excerpts from the interview.

Do you prefer finite shows or long-running daily soaps?
Sherdil Shergill was a finite show, which was supposed to run for a year, but we finished in six months. Personally, I’m a fan of long-running shows. I did Sasural Simar Ka for six years and Kundali Bhagya for five in my 15-year career. People ask me whether I get fatigued from playing a role for that long, but the truth is I don’t feel tired. I enjoy doing television. Now, I want to explore other mediums.

So, you’re foraying into digital entertainment?
Yes, the series is called Tatlubaaz. It is about a conman and I play the titular role. The show is set to drop on the EpicOn platform in October. Tatlubaaz will be its flagship show.

Weren’t you worried that a new OTT platform wouldn’t be able to market your show among the existing competition?
India has a vast audience [with takers] for every kind of show and platform. When I read the script, it seemed different [from other conman shows]. Director Vibhu Kashyap, who is making his debut with this series, wanted to shoot in a way that it seems smooth. And yet, the plot twists are so fast and unexpected. The ensemble cast is brilliant, with Nargis Fakhri, writer-director-actor Zeeshan Qadri and Divya Agarwal. Also, my character has no limitations and I can bring so much to the table to play him.

Besides Tatlubaaz, you are playing the antagonist in the second season of Dil Se Di Dua... Saubhagyavati Bhava.
You can call it my manifestation. For the past 15 years that I have been working in the industry, I have been playing the doting husband or the chocolate boy. It was always at the back of my mind to play a grey character. There is so much scope for an actor to perform in such roles. The timing was perfect. I was talking to someone a week before signing the show that I want to do something different, and this came my way.

How good is it to be bad on screen?
My character is everything I am not. He is absolutely unpredictable. He doesn’t think he is ever wrong but goes right ahead and does wrong to others intentionally. He is smart, tech savvy, is able to project into the future, is a perfectionist and expects everyone around him to be perfect too. The show will [explore the subject of] domestic violence.
Was it challenging to play an antagonist since it’s your first?
It was since I am nothing like him in real life. I don’t identify with his traits. I have been a happily married guy for the last seven years. I have to live with this character for 12 hours on set, adopt his mannerisms and body language. I had to [up my] acting skills. Luckily, the feedback I have been getting is great.

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