He is sweet, suave, articulate and extremely humble; but when he gets into character, you will hate his guts!
Chandan K Anand, who is playing the antagonist Zargham in Life OK’s The Adventures of Hatim seemed to have a tough time holding on to his normal demeanour with the extravagant costume he wore. While the air was relatively cool, Chandan just couldn’t stop talking about the heat…and we agree, it must be exhausting to wear the heavy outfit for 10-12 hours every day. In a chat with the actor, he spoke about his look, his first meeting with Rajbeer Singh, working with director Nikhil Sinha and his character on the show.
Have you seen the many variations of Hatim that came out before this one?
I have seen the old film on Hatim played by Jeetendra saab. I have seen couple of episodes from the TV series on Hatim as well. To study and research my character, I caught a few episodes on YouTube. I observed Nirmal Pandey, who was playing Dajjaal.
What was the character brief given to you?
Nikhil Sinha offered me the role and told me that I had to portray a character who believes he is a supreme power, invincible and bigger than God. It’s not the regular negative person from a daily soap. I played that in Yeh Pyaar Na Hoga Kam as Omi Bhaiya. So for me, it was a big challenge to do this. The references Nikhil showed me were all larger than life. Luckily, The Adventures of Hatim is also very grand and I realised that when I saw my throne.
What was the biggest challenge for you on this show?
The biggest challenge for me was to figure out how to play the character of Zargham. I am barely 5’10 and lean, but my character has to portray a persona who is the mightiest of them all – that’s not easy. That itself is a challenge – to make the shift from Chandan to Zargam. I asked Nikhil if he was confident about casting me in the negative role, he said yes, and then I had nothing more to think. If this takes me two steps ahead in life, I’d really like to do it.
Off camera, you have a chocolate boy look going; how did you manage to look so vicious as Zargham? Was it very difficult?
It is difficult to create something so different and unique. I am sure people will love it and this show will leave a mark. Zargham is not a character I can even imagine. When I play the antagonist in a regular show, the maximum I do is beat up people, or trouble them. But here it’s a completely different ballgame. His powers are beyond imagination and for an actor to portray that is very difficult. One needs to understand his psyche and his demeanour. We’ve grown up watching mythological characters like Kans and Raavan, so we are used to it on some level. I am just a kid in this field.
How long do you take to get dressed?
I take about one to one and half hour to dress. There are three-four layers of clothing on me right now. When I first saw the costume I was really very excited to wear and shoot in it. But it’s crazy to shoot in this… it almost like my second skin.
What’s your opinion of Nikhil Sinha as a director?
Nikhil Sinha loves shooting. It’s true he does not give breaks in between shoots, but I enjoy it that way. Until your scenes are perfect and as long as you are enjoying your work, you do not feel the need for a break. You won’t even realise that you need a break. In fact, I feel restless when I am in the vanity van waiting for my shot. As an actor, if I am on the set and performing nothing, else matters.
Do you think The Adventures of Hatim will launch you into the big league?
I am already in the big league. I do not think any work is small, be it television or feature films. In fact I am doing an international project simultaneously. That is one of the major reasons why I opted to do this show. Hatim is biweekly, which gives me ample time to do the things I like to do. Nikhil knows my thought process and he makes those adjustments.
What international project are you working on?
I can’t talk about that now.
What was your first reaction when you came face to face with Rajbeer, who plays Hatim?
I haven’t shot any scenes with Rajbeer yet. The first day we met, we clicked. That credit goes to the casting department. They’ve picked every character with so much detail and care, that it just fits. Everyone is sweet, motivating and enthusiastic about their work. When such teamwork is in process, the product automatically becomes good. When a person is good in his heart he automatically becomes a good actor. He will always have the inclination to keep learning and Rajbeer is just like that. You should check Rajbeer after a year – he will surprise you.
When will we see you do some real action?
The show has just started; there is a lot of time for me to get into action. Right now I have Lakha – my right hand – who will take care of it. Plus, I have a lot of minions to do my bidding. Right now Hatim has to fight and prove himself, not me. When the time comes, we will fight face to face. I’m looking forward to it!