‘There are Always Two Sides to a Story’

Following his latest release Looop Lapeta, actor Tahir Raj Bhasin reveals how he gets into the skin of every character he portrays—be it a romantic lead or a villain

Published: 06th February 2022 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th February 2022 05:54 PM   |  A+A-

A still from 83

Express News Service

Actor Tahir Raj Bhasin has started the year with a bang. His four back-to-back releases have been getting rave reviews, from fans and critics alike. After Kabir Khan’s 83 in the last week of December, Bhasin welcomed 2022 with Sidharth Sengupta’s gripping series Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein, followed by Mahesh Bhatt’s Ranjish Hi Sahi on Voot Select and now Looop Lapeta. The film released this week on Netflix pairs Bhasin opposite Taapsee Pannu and is based on the 1998 German experimental thriller Run Lola Run.

The 34-year-old actor has little to complain about his busy life involving shoots and promotions. “It’s like a festival for me,” he smiles. Bhasin’s forte is the starkly different roles he portrays in his films and shows. The lead character of Satya, which he plays in Looop Lapeta, is most distinct from anything he has done before—everything from his mannerisms to costumes and body language is different here. “Understanding that part took all my skill as an actor,” he says. He portrays a comic-romantic character of a young lad who needs to be rescued by his girlfriend when he finds himself in a sticky situation.

Tahir Raj Bhasin

In the Netflix series Yeh Kaali..., he is an ordinary smalltown boy in extraordinary circumstances—stuck in a love triangle. “It’s a role that was vulnerable and passive, to begin with. Through the arc of eight episodes, the character takes matters into his own hands and questions everything—starting from his values and morality to the whole concept of love and power structures in society,” he explains. 

Bhasin says that playing Gavaskar in 83 was a huge physical challenge for him—right from holding the bat like a professional to learning the Little Master’s mannerisms. For the part, Bhasin moved to the UK for three months, with the rest of the cast, where he lived like a sportsman, learning to bowl and field on a cricket ground. “It was an incredible privilege to live such an iconic moment in our history, and it’s an added responsibility when you’re representing a sport that the nation is so passionate about,” he adds.

Reportedly, the actor spent an entire day with the cricketing legend at Lord’s just a week before the film’s shooting began, which he describes as a true “fanboy moment”. Bhasin brings the anguish of a struggling married film director to screen with aplomb in Ranjish Hi Sahi. Set in the 1970s, the eight-episode romantic drama captures his dilemma of being attracted to a successful actress beautifully. Bhasin began shooting for the series soon after wrapping up 83, and had to put on eight kilos to essay the role. 

Though born in Delhi, Bhasin grew up in various parts of the country, as part of his father’s frequent postings while in the Indian Air Force. “All of these cities and their diverse experiences have unknowingly contributed to an actor who can portray different socio-economic structures,” he says. Bhasin’s first stint with acting was through Barry John’s acting workshops in 2002 while he was still a student at Hindu College in Delhi University. After a postgraduate degree in Film and Media from Melbourne, he left for Mumbai. His official film debut was with Mardaani (2014), which earned him the Screen Award for Best Actor in a Negative Role.  

Bhasin isn’t picky about the scripts he chooses—it could be a romantic lead or a negative character. In his words, no one is all black or white in real life either, so why stick to those shades in the reel? “There are always shades of grey and two sides to a story. It’s these flaws that make the characters more relatable to an audience. And today’s audience reciprocates and responds better to human characters,” adds the actor who considers Shah Rukh Khan his inspiration. As for next, Bhasin has signed the dotted line for a few projects but is tight-lipped. His career trajectory is surely on a ‘looop’! 

India Matters


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