Exclusive: Tahir on working with Ranveer

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Ranveer is like a thunderbolt… a live wire, who compels you to up your game. There’s this energy he exudes the moment he walks into a room” — Tahir Raj Bhasin

After getting delayed for over a year due to the pandemic and the makers insisting on a theatrical release, Ranveer Singh’s sports drama 83 is finally slated to release this year. The Kabir Khan-directorial, which chronicles India’s first Cricket World Cup win under the captaincy of Kapil Dev in 1983, will hit the theatres ‪on June 4.‬ While Ranveer Singh portrays Kapil Dev, actor Tahir Raj Bhasin essays the role of Sunil Gavaskar in the film.

In a conversation with Bombay Times, Tahir spoke about the film, playing Gavaskar and what it’s like to work with Ranveer. He said, “Playing a living legend is a massive challenge. There’s a lot of pressure. I did my research well. As far as Ranveer is concerned, when he is in the same room as you, he’s like a thunderbolt… a live wire, who

compels you to up your game. There’s this energy he exudes the moment he walks into a room.”

He further explained, “Before 83, I had only seen Ranveer’s interviews and seen him at YRF. I got to know him better during this film. A lot of people ask me whether he is really like that. All that energy, is that real? I feel it’s genuine. He commits to a part 110 per cent. When you have a guy like him playing the captain, it compels you to do better as well, and it shows. It helps the entire unit.”Sharing the screen with Ranveer was important for Tahir for a special reason — the Sunil Gavaskar-Kapil Dev dynamic. He shared, “It was particularly thrilling for me because there was that Sunil Gavaskar-Kapil Dev dynamic. Gavaskar was the skipper before Kapil Dev. We had to feed off each other’s energy to get that dynamic right.”

Talking about the team functioning as one unit, he said, “The credit goes to Kabir Khan because he was clear that the team had to function as a unit. All of us started our cricket training six months before the commencement of the shoot. Even in the UK, we would travel in a team bus. We would eat, travel and stay together. By the end of it, we felt like a unit. It was a life-changing experience, and I am glad we finished the shoot then. Had it been delayed, it would have been extremely difficult to shoot during the pandemic.”

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