MUMBAI: Bollywood actor Tahir Raj Bhasin made his movie debut as the negative lead in the critically acclaimed film 'Mardaani'. He later tasted success with 'Chhichhore'. Recently on the movie's second release anniversary, Tahir talked about how the film changed his life.
On the occasion, Tahir thanked his producer Sajid Nadiadwala, director Tiwari and co-star, late actor Sushant Singh Rajput, for an unbelievable shooting experience.
Recalling his days from the movie's shoot, he said, "My fondest memories of shooting for Chhichhore were the parts we shot in IIT Bombay. Hostel 4, on which the film is based, really exists and shooting in the real corridors and canteens helped get the entire cast to reminisce their own college life and instantly bond."
Talking about his training process for the role, Tahir added, "It was also a challenging film to be a part of; Nitesh Tiwari is a perfectionist and had me train with national-level sports coaches to prepare for Derek. I was in training for 4 months for athletics, football and kabaddi, this developed the characters physicality."
The actor then said that Sushant's focus and complete commitment towards his personal growth was very motivating to watch. "Watching Sushant work and spending time with him behind the scenes was an absolute joy. His focus and complete commitment to his personal growth was very motivating to watch. His intellect was unparalleled and the vastness of his topics of interest always entertained and enthralled the set," he said.
Praising the movie's producer Sajid Nadiadwala, the 34-year-old actor said, "Sajid Nadiadwala has an instinct for great scripts, watching him mentor the project yet give the actors their space is huge learning in leadership. One of my proudest moments, after we premiered the film, was when he congratulated me on how Derek had turned out in the film."
'Chhichhore' narrates the story of a middle-aged man, Anni (played by Sushant), and his college buddies. It showcases how their lives undergo major changes after they all graduate. One part of the film shows the friends in their college and how they strive to win a competition and the second part features them all grown up.
The gang, which gets separated after college, reunites years later in a hospital when one of their friends' children meets with an accident. Anni takes a trip down memory lane and reminisces about his college days along with his friends, who were labelled as losers.
The movie, which received the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi at the 67th edition of the National Film Awards, has made Tahir proud that it's a part of his body of work.
"There's a great sense of achievement when I think of Chhichhore today. Doing a box office smash hit and celebrating the film's National Award is a rare combination. I smile every time I catch Chhichhore on TV," he said.
Tahir, who played the role of Derek in the film, further said, "The shot of Derek running the relay race in the climax of the film brings back memories of Mumbai's humidity, 500 people cheering me on and physiotherapists between takes to get me back in shape just to do another take right. I smile, only because it was all so worth it!"
Speaking about how the audience related to his movie character, he said, "Chhichhore was an absolute blast to make. The part of Derek allowed me to explore a softer character than I had ever done before. Although he was the designated 'hostel ka baap', Derek was extremely emotional about his gang of brothers at hostel 4. The audience related to this vulnerability which was the real challenge about playing the character.
After the movie received critical acclaim along with a successful box office run, Tahir hasn't looked back since. He said, "The film definitely catapulted how Studios and the audience saw me and it will always be a very special chapter on the road from Mardaani's anti-hero to the more romantic hero parts I am exploring this year."
'Chhichhore', which had hit the big screens on September 6 in 2019, was a blockbuster hit and entered the 100 crore club in mere three weeks.
Meanwhile, Tahir 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, he will also be seen in the Ranveer Singh-starrer '83', directed by Kabir Khan, in which he will play the role of Sunil Gavaskar.