Alia Bhatt: 'The Story Of Poacher Moved Me Emotionally, I Was Flabbergasted'

Alia Bhatt: 'The Story Of Poacher Moved Me Emotionally, I Was Flabbergasted'

Alia Bhatt also shared her excitement of working on Poacher as an executive producer

Ria SharmaUpdated: Thursday, February 15, 2024, 04:22 PM IST
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The makers of Poacher unveiled the intriguing trailer of the Nimisha Sajayan, Dibyendu Bhattacharya and Roshan Mathew-starrer at an event in Mumbai on Thursday. Directed by Emmy Award-winner Richie Mehta, actress Alia Bhatt is on board the crime drama miniseries as an executive producer. The trailer gives a glimpse of the dark world of poaching in Kerala, India. It shows the relentless questioning of forest crime fighters, police officials and good Samaritans to expose the largest ivory poaching racket in Indian history. 

During the event, Richie revealed how the idea to make the investigative thriller came from. "It was a long journey. I was shooting a documentary in 2015 and one day, I received footage of an ivory raid. I was shocked. I contacted the Wildlife Trust and enquired about the footage. After doing some research, I got to know about the wildlife crime fighters. I was so enamoured by these people and the result of that is this series. Poacher is a fictional dramatisation of true events. As the episodes go, they get faster paced and the scenes get crazier. Also, all the actors auditioned for their roles and they did much better than what I expected from them," the director said. 

Alia, who wears many hats off-screen, shared her excitement of working on the project as an executive producer. She gushed, "Richie and I met in 2022 when I was pregnant. During one of our meetings, he took me through the world of Poacher. I was flabbergasted to know that it was based on true events. Forget the executive producer, I just responded as a person. I couldn't stop watching the show. It is a binge and how! You can't take yourself away from the characters. When you are creatively connected and you want something to do really well, there is anticipation and nervousness. It feels relaxing to not be in the trailer but it is exciting."

Praising the cast of Poacher, Alia said, "Nimisha is outstanding. Roshan, who I've had the honour of working with earlier, is unbelievable. Even Dibyendu sir. Besides the three of them, the other actors also hold your attention to the screen. Richie has told the story so beautifully and it really moved me emotionally. So, I want to be part of stories that move the audience, leave an impact on them and stir conversations after you've seen them. I remember asking multiple questions to Richie and went through a whole interrogation after watching Poacher. I have to say this and I can even write it down right now that your minds are going to be blown." 

Opening up about how he prepared for his role, Roshan stated, "The person whom my character is based on is someone who works at the Wildlife Trust of India. He is one of the most interesting people I've met in life. We found a connection as he is also from Kerala and our dialect is also very similar. He also has a great understanding of the socio-political scenario in Kerala. After my first interaction with him, I told Richie that we should have a personal approach to this and try to understand the man from inside, rather than portray him from the outside. Richie agreed and that is how I went about it. I tried to understand the man and the reasons he had to do the things he does. I tried to understand where he gets this passion from and where he finds his satisfaction from."

On playing Neil Banerjee, Dibyendu shared, "It was a fantastic process as it was a well-researched script. I play the role of a Field Director from the Kerala Forest Department. My character basically leads a team in the show. Over the course of my acting career, I have been a part of many projects and I have played a lot of diverse roles. But Poacher holds a special place in my heart. From the moment I read the script, it intrigued me and compelled me to be a part of the narrative. The story tugs at your conscience, making you feel a myriad of emotions, from anger, rage, sadness to helplessness and hope."

Poacher is all set to release on February 23 on Amazon Prime Video.

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