7 Years Of Mardaani: Tahir Raj Bhasin recalls how his villainous act in the Rani Mukerji starrer earned him the spotlight
Young versatile actor Tahir Raj Bhasin burst into the Bollywood scene with his brilliant performance as a negative lead in Mardaani. While the newcomer was cast opposite the incredible Rani Mukerji, who was playing the role of a firebrand cop chasing a cold-blooded human trafficker, Tahir managed to hold his own with his spine chilling villainous act. On the seventh anniversary of the film, Tahir reveals Mardaani, produced by Yash Raj Films, has played a huge hand in earning him the industry’s recognition as an actor to watch out for. Tahir says, “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. 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 says he had learnt a lot from Rani who pushed him to deliver a knock-out performance. The actor says, “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 adds, “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.”
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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, Tahir was cast to play romantic leads. He will now be seen in Loop Lapeta as a romantic lead opposite Taapsee Pannu and in Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein, in which he has been paired with Sweta Tripathi. Tahir also plays the role of Sunil Gavaskar in Kabir Khan’s 83!
Tahir says, “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.” He adds, “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 journey from anti-hero to hero has been an adrenaline rush and I am thrilled that the audience will experience a side of me that they have not seen before.”