Actor Tahir Raj Bhasin, who made his film debut with the 2014 movie 'Mardaani', on its seventh anniversary, recently opened up how his villainous act in the movie earned him spotlight and awards, setting him up to have a long career in Bollywood. Tahir, who was cast opposite powerhouse performer Rani Mukerji in 'Mardaaani', where she played the role of a firebrand cop chasing a cold-blooded human trafficker, still he managed to hold his own with his spine chilling villainous act.
Talking about how the Yash Raj production film earned him industry's recognition as an actor, he said, "Mardaani was an explosive break for me. My life transformed with its release and has never been the same. The film has played a central role in the recognition I have received as a powerful actor."
He further added, "As a debut film, Mardaani cut through the clutter and its uniqueness lay in how Walt, the anti-hero, was projected and stylised by Pradeep Sarkar. People had seen the boy next door, Mardaani gave them the bad boy next door." Tahir said he learnt a lot from Rani who pushed him to deliver a knock-out performance.
"Sharing screen space with Rani Mukerji was a challenge and hugely rewarding. Being cast against a star of her stature means you have to up your game and this led to the need to be in peak performance state from day one."
He continued his appreciation for Rani and said, "I was working with a star whose work I have grown up watching and on set I learnt through her example. I understood how to be extremely focused when it counts and to relax so one can step out of the zone when you don't need to be in it. I also saw a sterling commitment to the craft and a work ethic that I try and carry with me to date."
'Mardaani', which was an action thriller directed by Pradeep Sarkar and produced by Aditya Chopra, also starred Jisshu Sengupta and Saanand Verma in supporting roles. It was followed by a sequel titled 'Mardaani 2' in 2019. After starting as a negative lead in 'Mardaani', Tahir followed it up with another tremendous villainous act in 'Force 2'.
After shining consistently in his next few films like 'Chhichhore', he was finally cast to play romantic leads. Speaking about his future projects, Tahir said, "2021 is the year of the Romantic hero chapter for me. In my two exciting projects set for release, Looop Lapeta and Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhen, I will be exploring romantic dramas. I grew up on a staple dose of 90's Bollywood romance and that's what I channel as I slip into this avatar."
Tahir, who feels his journey from an anti-hero to hero has been an adrenaline rush, is thrilled that the audience will experience a side of him that they have not seen before. He added, "As an actor, it's a huge compliment that the scripts I get now are mostly romantic leads and this pushes me to be more versatile with every successive project."
The 34-year-old actor will next be seen in 'Looop Lapeta' as a romantic lead opposite Taapsee Pannu and in 'Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein', where he has been paired opposite Shweta Tripathi. Apart from that, Tahir will also be seen in the Ranveer Singh-starrer '83', directed by Kabir Khan, in which he will play the role of Sunil Gavaskar.