Mahabharat’s Yudhishter aka Rohit Bhardwaj: I first auditioned for the role of Lord Krishna

Mahabharat’s Yudhishter claims he had initially auditioned for Krishna’s role, which is now being played by Saurabh Raaj

Rohit Bharadwaj is now known as Yudhishter from Mahabharat, however if all had gone well then he could have played Lord Krishnna. After doing shows like Baat Hamari Pakki Hai, Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha, Navya, Ranbir Rano and now Mahabharat, Rohit has finally managed to create a name for himself in the industry.This simple and down-to-earth dude tells us how he bagged the mythological role, his aspirations, his inspiration and his closest friend Shaheer Sheikh.

How did acting happen to you?

I was in my last year of graduation and had planned to go abroad for higher studies. Unfortunately I couldn’t give my final semester and had to wait for three months to reappear and graduate. So I had three months to soul search and I just needed a change. I joined theater on a friend’s advice and I started liking acting. The three months turned into three years and I have not looked back since. Maybe, acting was in my destiny. I am glad it came through.

What have been the landmarks of your career?

There has been no landmark yet. I am hoping it happens soon.

How did you bag the role of Yudhishter in Mahabharat? You are doing a mythology for the first time. How do you feel?

I was working in Navya for Swastik Productions and that’s when Siddharth Kumar Tewary asked me to audition for the role of Lord Krishna. I auditioned for it but he wanted me to play Yudhishter instead and I agreed. It was a good decision. Mythology is a great genre and I am enjoying it. It just feels so majestic to play the role of a king, the costumes, the visuals, the role, the character it all feels great. It is amazing to be a part of such a huge project, it’s an epic and I’m proud of my character. He is fighting between “dharma” and “adharma“. He’s the only one who wins the battle and attains “moksha“.

What special preparations did you do for the role?

I underwent fencing, horse ridding and the director’s workshop for the character that I’m playing. I researched a lot about Yudhishter, learnt the mannerisms of a king and felt the character. That’s all.

How has your life changed post Mahabharat?

Life has changed immensely, I am receiving recognition and praise for my work. Most of all preparing and essaying the role of Yudhishter has really made me a better person, I have learnt what Dharma is.

Weren’t you supposed to keep a moustache for the role? Why was the idea changed?

It just happened; maybe I looked more convincing as a clean shaven King.

You have worked with Shaheer Sheikh in Navya, how was it reuniting with him?

He is my brother! I have some sort of an emotional connection with Shaheer. I am extremely happy working with him. It’s like having a family on the sets. We played brothers in Navya and now again we are playing brothers in Mahabharat.

Can you share some of your interesting experiences with the other co-stars?

Not interesting, but funny incidents. Like sometimes we just burst into laughter while shooting for a serious scenes and the director has to keep retaking the shot. It’s so much fun on the sets and especially when people are peeling into laughter you can’t really control yourself.

How was the experience of sword fighting and horse riding in front of the camera?

It was fun actually, I have not mastered horse riding yet, I’ve fallen off the horse so many times – it’s funny. My crew has actually recorded me falling off the horse at the Versova beach.

How is it working with Siddharth Kumar Tewary and Swastik Productions?

It has been a splendid experience. Siddharth is a down to earth, humble and helpful person. The creativity of the man is so impeccable that you just have to admire him. He knows everything about his show and that’s what makes everything so perfect. I’m in the show ‘coz of Siddharth Kumar Tewary, he’s the motivation behind me being Yudhishter. He has no ego hassles and is creatively so blessed with perfection.

How was shooting in Jaipur for a shoot?

It has been a treat of a lifetime. I had never really visited Jaipur, being from Delhi I’ve always crossed just Jaipur but never stopped by and vacationed there. I loved Jaipur. The aura of the city makes you feel like a king! And that is exactly what happened to me, I almost started feeling like a king, I could imagine how my kingdom would be. I’m got so tanned after the visit but it was so worth it. I shopped, visited all the forts and I loved the culture out there.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

I want to be at a similar stature of Shahrukh Khan in the next five years. I admire SRK ‘coz he is a self made man. I want to be a superstar. Of course, along with that I want a good home, a big name and fame, an awesome car and all the good things in life. Shahrukh is my inspiration.

How has the response to your character, Yudhishter been so far?

I am overwhelmed and happy that I am being appreciated as Yudhishter. Finally, I feel that people can see the King in me. I wanted it all to look real and as convincing as possible and thankfully I am being appreciated and acknowledged.

Any crazy fan experiences so far?

On a social networking a girl actually started fighting for me and claimed that I was hers. Then girl from the South sent e-collages of me which was really sweet. A girl gifted me my sketch.

It is reliably learnt that you are the most knowledgeable actor who knows his Mahabharat really well. How?

Everyone has grown up watching BR Chopra’s Mahabharat and yes I watched it too. While preparing for this Mahabharat, we didn’t watch that as we wanted to create our own character sketches and not imitate. I read a lot of books from the point of views of so many people even the guard’s point of view to understand everything. Guess that’s why I know more about it.

Were you ever compared to Gajendra Chauhan, who played Yudhishter in BR Chopra’s Mahabharat?

No, I’ve never been compared. I could never imagine competing with the legends.

Who are you the closest to on the sets of Mahabharat?

Obviously Shaheer, we go back a long time, but I share a very healthy and happy relationship with each and everyone on the set.

You go to the gym daily on the sets of the show, so who are your gym buddies?

All the Pandavas and sometimes the Kauravas too.