Tahir Raj Bhasin is currently winning accolades for his acting chops in the recently released web series Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein and Ranjish Hi Sahi. One of his first major silver screen appearances was as the menacing antagonist in the Rani Mukerji-starrer Mardaani. In a candid conversation with Free Press Journal, he talks about his fruitful association with YRF and more. Excerpts:
Being a YRF talent, you guys are lucky that the doyens take the right decision of choices for your films…
When you are starting off in Mumbai, you really need a sort of mentorship, which will help you work with the right people. It’s really crucial for us to take our talent to the right channels and know which project to take up. All this is an important part of your journey. YRF has been an absolute vital anchor for me in taking those decisions and helped me not only in scripts but in taking apt decisions regarding how much PR to do. Often people make the mistake of going overboard with publicity — the kind of publicity they do for themselves and the project. But here, we are guided. How to speak? When to speak? Thus we are able to make decisions on how to diversify our acting talent rather than just capitalise on work for the sake of work. I am fortunate to have them.
Have you signed a three-film deal with YRF after Mardaani?
YRF used to have three film concepts. In earlier contracts, you had to do exclusively only those three films first. Now, it is not so. Now they manage you, and you are free to take work outside too. Thus all these projects are happening.
Actors from the ’70s and ’80s, who are still doing well, couldn’t say no to doing roles for their filmmaker friends. Would you do that?
Today the way we function is that there are agencies, and everything has been corporatised. The script goes to them, and they make decisions. I am very fortunate that after Mardaani I was signed by Yash Raj. They help me make decisions on the script and chart the course forward. The same team looks after Ranveer (Singh) and Ayushmann (Khurrana). I really admire them as they are all self-made talents.
Are you doing any regional films in different languages?
No, I am not doing any regional films yet.
Your family has a defence background. Was it tough for you to get support from them?
My parents were always very supportive. I started working right from school and college time. They only told me to give the best that I know. They are my biggest critics as well as my fans. When they saw the preview of my debut film Mardaani, it was indeed an emotional moment for us.
Lastly, would you care for a critically acclaimed film or success at the box office?
(Smiles) I would like both critically acclaimed as well as commercially successful films at the box office.