The New Star of OTT! Tahir Raj Bhasin
Interviewed by Deepti Chandak
Does Tahir Raj Bhasin feel 2022 is his year?
Absolutely, It's been a very festive beginning to the year. Having four back-to-back releases in 83, Ranjish Hi Sahi, Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhien, and Looop Lapeta has been an extraordinary experience. I feel envigorated to take on a lot more and make 2022 my best year yet. Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein is a great script and it worked by putting an ordinary guy into an extraordinary situation. Would you have reacted differently to the plot points in real life vs the script?
One of the reasons actors pick scripts is because it allows them to live choices that are so far removed from ones own reality. It allows you to face choices one would never want to (take) in real life and deal with problems in the most dramatic entertaining way. I would never wish for myself or anyone to be in the same circumstance as Vikrant but if I was, yes the reaction would be very different.
Isn’t it human to have affection for someone who is obsessed with you? Did you have any such discussions with the director while preparing for the role?
Anything in excess is toxic. Being loved by someone is flattering , humbling and a great feeling but when that love is pushed to the limit of oppressing someone that is unhealthy. Purva's character crosses that line of being oblivious to who Vikrant is and what his individual desires are and this makes it very difficult for him to reciprocate any affection. Who is the “ Golden” friend in your real life?
I am blessed to have not one but many golden friends through different phases of my life. My top 3 would be Dhruv a friend from college in Delhi. Alok who I knew as an intern at my first job and Nash who lives in Melbourne. They've all been a part of my formative life experiences and are my go-to pals in moments of celebration or crisis. How do you view your struggle? In hindsight are you thankful and in gratitude for the years of auditions and rejections? Or would you have wanted to struggle less to get at this stage in your life?
There is no struggling phase, I prefer to see it as a time of aspiring. Being in a city with dreams and working toward it and working through rejections is part of the process. It is in those down moments that you discover your strengths. My journey in Bombay in my first few years here and up to this point is what makes me appreciate the high points of success now. Other than movies, what excites Tahir Raj Bhasin? How do you spend your time?
Travel is something I used to love to do in the pre-Pandemic years. I hope we can get back to a world where it is safer to travel. Reading occupies a lot of my time. Good music runs most of my life. I'm also a cafe buff and when not shooting will be with a friend, checking out whichever new cafe has opened in town.
What is that one question that you want everyone to ask you? A question that’s seldom asked is, is happiness a goal and is it achieved with fame or money. The answer to that is a long one, but in a nutshell happiness is a state of being, the hardest thing is to find it in the moment of doing, of being in the moment of your life. If you attach it to a goal or a number when you get there it will just shift to the next target. This doesn’t mean goals aren’t important they 100% are, but so is the process.
Upcoming projects you are looking forward to?
Looop Lapeta! We spent a lot of challenging moments through 2020 shooting for the film. My character Satya is unlike anything I've played before. He is fun, vulnerable, goofy, and a die-hard romantic. I look forward to seeing how the audience reacts to him and the film. Both your shows YKKA and RHS are among the highest-rated shows on digital and now there's Looop Lapeta. Can we safely say you are the new OTT star?
I'm a Hybrid star. This is an age where a film star can oscillate between Theatrical films like Mardaani or Chhichhore, OTT shows like YKKA and OTT features like Looop Lapeta, and I am thoroughly enjoying all of these. As an actor, I get the most creative satisfaction telling clutter-breaking stories and I'm so glad that the audience has evolved to appreciate good content regardless of the medium. As the world gets safer, theatre and OTT will co-exist and this will allow for you to be a film and OTT star, therefore the Hybrid. Who has been your acting inspiration? Shahrukh Khan, Irrfan Khan and Amitabh Bachchan Your choice of roles has been varied and they show your extensive range as an actor. Is it a conscious effort? How do you pick and choose your projects?
Yes, this is a conscious effort. The idea was to show diversity in the early films, so there was a crime drama in Mardaani, Force 2 was an action film, Manto a period film, Chhichhore a College drama, 83 a sports film. This new phase in 2022 is the one where I am shifting gears to lead parts and exploring the Romantic hero. It has been heartening to see that the acceptance of my outing as a Romantic lead is higher than what it was for Mardaani. Do you cherish the fact that you have made it big without any godfather in the industry due to your sheer talent?
I cherish it and it gives me a great sense of pride and confidence. There's also a sense of freedom that comes from having the ability to chart your own course and design your own acting choices. You have become the new romantic hero on screen, what kind of projects are you going to seek out?
I'm looking at doing lead parts in genres I haven't explored till now, an all-out comedy is something I'd love to do, a romantic film that has epic music and dance sequences is another thing I'd love to tick off. Regardless of the genre the endeavor will always be to surprise the audience and pick parts that have layers to them and that are as entertaining as they are revealing of the human spirit.