Tahir Raj Bhasin has been taking the audience on nostalgic trips for quite some time now. While he made them acquainted with the life of a college-going student in the ’90’s with Chhichhore, he drove everybody to whistle loud in the theaters as he stepped into the shoes of legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar in his recently released film ’83. The film presents the glorious time of the ’80s when India won its first Cricket World Cup. And now, he shifts the timeline further back with Ranjish Hi Sahi. The web show is a dramatic Bollywood love story giving a sneak-peek into the golden era of the 1970s.
In an exclusive conversation with India TV, Tahir says having done projects in different timelines prepared him sufficiently for his most recent project Ranjish Hi Sahi. However, the tricky part is to associate with the characters on an emotional level and not make it caricaturish. “Playing characters of different timelines does help. It makes you comfortable. The most important thing to remember is to not oversell the period. Because people are people at the end of the day. While fashion might have changed, a few words and slang might change but human emotion doesn’t change. The task is not to become a caricature and to remain as natural as possible. And that is always the tricky part for an actor.”
The actor articulates when recreating a personality from an older timeline it’s essential to withdraw from your modernity and live via that period. Talking about the challenges he encountered while filming Ranjish Hi Sahi, he told us, “The show was challenging because it is like a behind the scenes of how Bollywood sets function at that time. The way I’m used to seeing film sets in 2021 and the kind of technology that we use now versus what used to happen in the 1970s was vastly different. It was literally like going into a parallel universe.”
“To play into that world I would keep my cell phone, laptop and iPad and everything in the vanity, cut away from technology and try immersing myself in the world of the 1970s. There was also the challenge of gaining weight for the character to look slightly older. Of course, the kind of costumes, makeup, hairstyle, and the set design add to the feel of being in that period but also what’s important is the mannerisms, language and walk that we take for granted today in 2021 is very heavily influenced by modern times. And it’s important to remove modernity from everything and every aspect and try and observe and live as much as you can, through that period,” he added.
Given the response he has received at the beginning of the year, Tahir feels he couldn’t have asked more from 2022. “It’s been like a bonanza start to 2022, I could not have asked for a better beginning,” he said adding, “It all started with the amasing emotional and critical response that 83 has received. The kind of feedback that I have got for Gavaskar is unprecedented and is definitely not what I was expecting. And this is both from Cricket lovers from history lovers, and film lovers. Coming to 2022, the start of a new chapter for me doing mainly parts and playing a romantic hero. And I couldn’t have asked for two better shows to display this aspect of my craft.”
Ranjish Hi Sahi can be streamed on Voot Select. Apart from this, Tahir has two more projects to look forward to in the coming months. He has a Netflix release Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein and Looop Lapeta with Taapsee Pannu.