Actor Tahir Raj Bhasin, who will be seen as Sunil Gavaskar in “’83“, underwent training for four months to prepare for the role. He understands that expectations are high from the movie, but says the team is trying to give their “110 percent”.

As the movie, based on India’s victory in the 1983 Cricket World Cup, combines India’s two loves, cricket and films, Tahir admits there is pressure.

Tahir Raj Bhasin On '83 Co-Star Ranveer Singh: "I Think He Brings A Lot To The Table As Kapil Dev"
Tahir Raj Bhasin On ’83 Co-Star Ranveer Singh: “I Think He Brings A Lot To The Table As Kapil Dev”

“I think it does put a lot of pressure on us because people have something to say… In films, they say a scene could have been a certain way, or in cricket, a shot could have been a certain way. We are combining the two. So cricket lovers and cinema lovers are going to come to watch the film, and people would have an opinion. It would be pressure… But as actors we are going to put in 110 percent,” Tahir told IANS.

The actor, who played a villain in “Mardaani“, left with the film’s ‘squad’ in style for London earlier this week.

He has been quietly prepping to nail the portrayal of the iconic cricketer.

“I have been watching videos of Sunil Gavaskar for about four months now and studying his body language. When you take up a role like this, it is important that you look authentic on screen. People have seen him, interacted with him and have a direct reference point to how he talks, plays and reacts.

“When people see me as Gavaskar on screen, I want them to feel that they are looking at the person that they have known and when I play on screen, it should remind them of how he played. It’s a huge challenge but I think I’m ready,” he said in a statement.

The film features Ranveer Singh as Kapil Dev, the captain of the underdog Indian cricket team that lifted the World Cup for the first time in 1983 and won hearts across the world.

Tahir is happy to join forces with Ranveer, whom he considers a “brilliant actor”.

“I think he brings a lot to the table as Kapil Dev. The casting of this film has been spot on and everyone has been doing their best to look as authentic on screen. We all have to transform ourselves to look and become the real-life player that we are essaying on screen. It’s been quite a journey for all of us already and I can’t wait to start shooting for ’83,” he said.

He also said that while people are talking about the cricketing aspect of the film, the human aspect of each character cannot be missed.

“As actors, that has been challenging for us… to pick up the nuances of the living legends we are playing. There’s so much information out there. There are written biographies of Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, there are interviews, and we have had the benefit of meeting these players. There’s a physical and psychological aspect, and combining these two is what will help ’83 connect with the millenials and cricket lovers.”

The film, presented by Reliance Entertainment, is being directed by Kabir Khan.

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