Taha Shah Badussha will soon be seen as Murad in Taj: Divided by Blood. The web series, which will stream on an OTT platform from March 3, also stars Dharmendra, Naseeruddin Shah, Rahul Bose and Aditi Rao Hydari. The Free Press Journal caught up with him for an exclusive chat. Excerpts:
How difficult was it for you to play Murad in the show?
I played Murad with all my personal experiences. Life has been full of struggles so I churned out my past negative experiences and put those energies into Murad while portraying him on camera. There is anger and pain in him. Murad is like a puppy who has been hurt and injured. He might come across as brutal and aggressive, but he is a nice guy at heart and wants to do good things to people.
He wants Akbar (his father played by Naseeruddin Shah) to also validate him and express his hidden love for him. But he never says anything which becomes the seeding thought of his hatred towards his father. Murad lives on the edge and becomes intolerant and decides to take revenge.
A scene where your face is covered in blood looks really intense. Can you throw some light on the same?
Once people will see that scene, it will blow their minds. I am sure that a scene like this has never been shot this way. When people will come to know where that blood has come on my face, they will be amazed.
What kind of weapon training did you do to play Murad?
I trained for around 45 days since we all had to learn a bit of horse riding and perform action sequences. Besides that, I used to train with my personal trainer from Delhi, who is an expert in weapon handling for around three to fours hours. I flew him down to Mumbai and learned axe, sword and stick fighting for 12 days. I got the basics right. Physically, I gained more muscle weight and became more beefy.
How was it on the sets with legendary Naseeruddin Shah?
To work with him or share screen space is every actor’s dream and it has come true for me. He is an epitome of acting. I feel fortunate that I didn’t go to any acting school and rather learned on the job with him face to face. His voice texture, tone, modulation and pauses are so good. During the times when he isn’t teaching or explaining something, he used to read his lines. We recently saw the first episode together and he came out and kissed me on my cheeks. It was like the biggest gift.
Since the show belongs to the Mughal era, was it difficult for you to learn long Urdu dialogues?
When I used to do rehearsals with my director along with the other cast, we used to get better with each performance. But it was a task to get that Urdu dialect right. There used to be a coach on the sets too. When I used to read a book named Tughlaq, I used to manifest that someday I would do something similar and Taj: Divided by Blood happened to me.
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