Former model and actor Rahul Bhat, who rose to fame after playing an integral part in the path-breaking television series, Heena, still possesses the same energy and passion for acting which he had when he began his journey in showbiz. After appearing in a couple of films at the beginning of the new millennium, the actor took a long break from acting and set up a television production company. However, Bhat always knew that only acting was his true calling. After staying away from films, the actor is making his presence felt again in the industry. And who knows that his next Daas Dev by eminent filmmaker Sudhir Mishra brings him back in the reckoning? In this exclusive interview with us, Rahul talks candidly about his new film, his character and how Daas Dev is different from a dozen of films which we have seen based on the classic novel of prolific writer, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.
A. The film is inspired by renowned novelist Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s classic novel Devdas and, also, has a little bit of Shakespeare thrown in it. See, it is not exactly what Devdas was. In the book, the journey of the main protagonist was from Dev to Das. This time around, the journey is from Das to Dev. It’s a reversed journey of Devdas.
A. I play a person who is addicted to power, addicted to alcohol and so many other things. How he does this reverse journey and comes out from that addiction and claims his legacy is what you see in the film.
A. It’s going to be totally different. In fact, I would say, this is the most different film on Devdas. All the previous films have been basically Devdas. They have been the same over the years. This is the different film, the first different film with a totally different take on Devdas. That’s why it’s called Daas Dev. You see a reverse journey in the movie.
A. Frankly speaking, I don’t think the younger audience even knows about Devdas let alone watching films based on him. I am sure many young people haven’t read the novel. But they know the character that is alcoholic and self-destructive. I don’t think that there is anything confusing there. In fact, I believe that the younger audience likes to see a different take on the same thing. They don’t like to see the same thing again and again. Even if it is a classic, why not have a different take on it? Even if our film brings forth a different take, it’s exciting, new, and fresh.
A. It’s not necessary that an actor relates to every character that he portrays. If you are playing Abraham Lincoln, you are not going to become like him to play the character. If an actor plays Gandhi, does not mean he will become Gandhi. Acting is to assume a different personality on command. That’s what acting is all about. It’s about believing in between action and cut and a certain kind of preparation before that.
When a journalist asks an actor what he has done to prepare for his role, some of them go on to tooth their own whistle for fifteen minutes, and nobody actually minds it. I am the one who says that when the film releases, judge me. You will come to know if I was good or bad.
A. I think every role is a difficult role for an actor. It’s a very difficult job. I am sure every actor will tell you that. It’s not easy. Acting is a very difficult thing to do, particularly when you play certain kind of roles, it becomes even more difficult. So yeah, the cuss words, the body language, and the whole look…it was difficult.
A. We shot the film in Lucknow, Ayodhya, Haryana, Delhi, and Mumbai.
A. Because of its scale! The scale of the film is so huge that it took a lot of time in pre-production, production, and post-production. When you have very big starts doing the film, it doesn’t burden the film. But when the film gets very big with not-so-big stars, it takes a little time. Though this film took a little longer time, I can tell you it is a visual treat. It’s not a small film. It’s a big saga and is spectacular.
A. It took off with Aur Devdas. Then we thought while making the film, that it’s not Devdas. We were telling a totally reversed story of Devdas. One day someone came with the idea that why don’t we flip the title. And that’s how the title came.
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