After Tahir Raj Bhasin’s debut film Mardaani won him huge critical acclaim and incredible success at the box office, Nitesh Tiwari’s Chhichhore brought him the same reaction. On the second anniversary of the film’s release, he has thanked his producer Sajid Nadiadwala, his director Nitesh and his late co-star Sushant Singh Rajput for an unbelievable shooting experience.
“My fondest memories are of 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 got the cast reminiscing about their own college life and forged an instant bond,” he says.
Describing it as a challenging film, Tahir says, “Nitesh Tiwari is a perfectionist and he had me train with national level sports coaches to prepare for Derek. I was in training for four months for athletics, football and kabaddi.”
The young actor adds, “Watching Sushant work and spending time with him behind the scenes was an absolute joy. His focus and complete commitment to personal growth was very motivating. His intellect was unparalleled and the vastness of his interests enthralled us.”
Sharing his memories, Tahir says, “Sajid Nadiadwala has an instinct for great scripts. Watching him was a huge learning in leadership. One of my proudest moments after the film premier was when he congratulated me on how Derek had turned out.”
He says, “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. The shot of Derek running the relay race in the climax 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.”
Chhichhore catapulted Tahir to recognition and he hasn’t looked back. He says, “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 and that was the real challenge about playing the character. It was a special chapter on the road from Mardaani’s anti-hero to the more romantic hero parts I am exploring this year.”
Tahir will now be seen in Looop Lapeta as a romantic lead opposite Taapsee Pannu and in Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein, in which he has been paired with Shweta Tripathi. The actor will also be seen in the role of Sunil Gavaskar in Kabir Khan’s directorial 83....