Tahir Raj Bhasin has always been regarded as an actor to watch out for. He wowed everyone with his brilliant debut as a villain in the superhit and highly acclaimed Mardaani and since then he has been choosing eclectic films that have stood out for its good content. Tahir’s next will see him playing a sports champion in Dangal director Nitesh Tiwari’s Chhichhore. An actor who likes to get into the skin of his characters, we have learnt that Tahir moved to the prestigious IIT-Bombay and stayed with students before the film began.
Nitesh had graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) in 1996 with a Bachelor’s degree in Metallurgy and Material Science engineering. Chhichhore is inspired from his life and times at the engineering college and the film is about campus life in the engineering college. Tahir wanted to study and soak in college life and see the inter-personal dynamics of various hostels from close quarters before he started filming.
Tahir says, “I moved to IIT Bombay to spend a week at the hostel before the filming began. I internalise every role that I do and my creative process sees me immerse myself with the setting and the character that I have at hand. I worked out at the same gym as the students and ate in their canteens to get a feel of their campus life. I studied the young students closely and observed the dynamics between hostels. Moving to the campus made me ready to play the role of an engineering college student and I’m hoping that the audiences will connect with Derek.”
The actor also reveals that living and shooting in IIT-B was uncanny for him. “Mood indigo, the IIT-B cultural festival is coincidentally also where I performed theatre for the first time as part of my Delhi college theatre group. This was the place where the germ of becoming an actor was set for me. This shoot was like life coming a full circle!” he says.
Tahir adds, “What’s further uncanny is that my opening scene in Chhichhore is also shot in the same corridor where I lived in when he travelled to IIT Bombay as a college theatre student! What are the chances! I think I was destined to do this role and revisit the campus that I so fondly remember. This film will always be one of the most cherished movies of my career.”
Tahir plays the role of Derek, Nitesh’s real-life senior in his engineering college. Looks like Derek was an extremely close friend of Nitesh and had a big impact on his life for the director to keep him in the film. We hear the original Derek was an extremely driven and passionate sportsman who excelled in whichever sporting discipline he competed and he did his hostel and college proud.