Kabir Khan‘s ’83 has brought back the memories of the 1983 World Cup on screen. The film is in cinemas now and is being appreciated by critics and audiences. Actor Tahir Raj Bhasin, who plays the role of Legendary Indian Cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, had an interesting conversation with us. Read the excerpts below.
Sharing his thoughts about the journey of ’83, he says, “For me doing ’83 was an emotional decision, sometimes we pick the script looking at what part you are going to play. Here, there was none of those questions, it was pure nostalgia. Nostalgia of the event, the pride of playing for India, wearing the Indian cricket Team’s Jersey. I was playing the legendary Sunil Gavaskar on screen so the only thing in my mind was, I wanted my parents to come and see the film and how they would react. We were able to spend 3 months at Lords with the ’83 team, and we really lived that life.”Sharing his memories of 1983 World Cup, Tahir Raj Bhasin reveals, “I was watching a lot of videos of Sunil Gavaskar because I wanted to see what he was doing and I constantly noticed that he was going to Kapil Dev whenever they were walking back to the pavilion or setting a field. While there is no record of what was being said, a couple of moments were there and we tried to recreate that in the film. He was the most decorated player on the field, while he wasn’t the captain, how he was influencing the game with little inputs that would make changes that would have a bigger impact. The other memories are of course, that Madan Lal’s delivery and Kapil Dev took the catch, Vengsarkar getting hit.”“He was at Lords when we started shooting and I remember meeting him, i took lots of input from him on how he stood at the crease, how he got the balance right. How he played shots and also his mindset on how he approached the tournament. The beautiful thing is when I ask Sunil Gavaskar even today, I mean he had such an illustrious career, but when you ask him what was his favorite moment? He always says ‘The 1983 World Cup Win. I couldn’t believe it when I was offered the part. I have known him as an iconic cricket legend, I know him from his interviews, he even had influence on Sachin Tendulkar,” he adds.The best compliment he got after ’83 was from Sunil Gavaskar himself. Tahir recites, “The biggest compliment and only compliment that I was interested in was how Sunil Gavaskar feels when he see it, and when he saw it, he had tears in his eyes and he said that I saw myself in your character and that for me was the biggest compliment I could receive because I’m not a cricketer and I don’t come from cricketing background and it took a lot of effort to get that posture right.” Tahir played a senior guy in the film and even in Chhichhore, he played a senior guy. Does that make him feel that seniority hype? He answers, “The hype is of the part, not of me. But the challenge is, in both of these films, I’m of the same age as other actors and definitely I can assure you that in the upcoming projects I am not playing the senior guy.”Excited about his future projects, Ranjish Hi Sahi, Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhen and Looop Lapeta, the actor says, “It’s amazing because I look at 2022 as the year of transitions. I am doing the main leads now, it’s an exciting journey but to be able to do these three films, it’s like a hat-trick of romantic films. In all three projects I’m opposite leading ladies and I have got to do romance, which I’ve never done before. So I am excited to see whether the audience accepts them or not.”The actor will be seen opposite Taapsee Pannu in Looop Lapeta and he seems quite thrilled about it. He adds, “I have enjoyed every role but the one I am looking forward to the most is, Satya in Looop Lapeta. He is a jholar (Con), he finds shortcuts for everything and he is romantic as well. It’s the first time I am doing a romantic comedy and it’s closest to who I am in real life. Looop Lapeta is all about having fun.”
Differentiating a film and an OTT project, Tahir explains, “Shooting for OTT definitely requires more acting muscles, it is more texting, it’s almost like three films in the span of.. say four months. Films and OTT are different from each other; it’s like playing a 50 over match vs T20. OTT does not have box office collections to tell the success but it has word of mouth.”Looking back at his journey from Cameos to antagonist to supporting roles to lead roles, Tahir tells, “I read this beautiful quote somewhere, ‘Your goals are not about achieving those goals, it’s about who you become after achieving those goals.’ And I have seen the transition in me, how I came from shooting 1 hour a day to shooting 12 hours a day without having any problems with it. What I really love is the process of creating something. Every year there is progress and that is the most important thing for me.”