Parag Tyagi, who played Shariffudin in Jodha Akbar, is back on Zee TV’s Brahmarakshas. He talks to Sangeeta Yadav about what it takes to play a monster
- How is it to play a monster in Brahmarakshas?
It’s very challenging yet fun to play a monster. From being a positive to turning into a grey and then a negative character, there are a lot of shades to the role that I am essaying.
- How do you turn into a Brahmarakshas?
The story of Brahmarakshas is intriguing. He was happily married until he got to know that his wife, whom he loved, conspired against him. She had him killed for money. Since his wish remained unfulfilled, he returns as Brahmarakshas.
- How did you bag this role?
When I got a call from Balaji Telefilms to say that they are making a show inspired by Beauty and The Beast and wanted me to play the beast, I was thrilled and said yes. It’s a different and interesting story.
- How much work went into the look?
It took a lot of time as we wanted a unique look. I went through 10-15 look tests. There was no reference. More than the costume, the make-up process is tedious and I hate it. I hate long hair and in this show, I have to wear a wig which goes into my ears and falls over the eyes all the time. I’m wearing lenses which I am not used to and my eyes are sensitive. Physique wise, I had to look bulky so I put on 7 kg and then did a work-out for three months to build up muscle. I did voice modulation exercises to get the right tone, especially while shouting.
- How comfortable with prosthetic make-up?
It is difficult to act in prosthetics as your facial expressions get stretched. Since I’ve done theatre, I know how to play with my expressions. The prosthetics put on the forehead are such that they hold the muscle too tightly. To stay for 12 hours in that make-up is irritating. But then, as they say, no pain, no gain. Patience is helping me stay calm. Apart from 12 hours of shoot, it takes me three hours to get into the get-up and 45 minutes to get out of it.
- How did you prepare for the character?
I studied a lot about brahmarakshas in mythological and religious books like Puranas, tales of Vikram Aur Betaal, etc. There are two stories doing the rounds. First, a man who dies without his wish getting fulfilled and gets stuck in the nether world. Second, a Brahmin, who sinned a lot, died and turned into a brahmarakshas. Our story is based on the first version.
- This is your third show with Ekta Kapoor…
Whatever I am today is because of her. She launched me on TV with Pavitra Rishta and then took me in Jodha Akbar. She can never go wrong in casting for her shows. The biggest strength is her faith in me that I can perform and do justice to the roles. I consider her my mentor.
- Will you be performing stunts as well?
Yes. For me, it’s all about overcoming my fears and trying to do things which look challenging. I fear heights. I get scared even on the first floor. Despite that, I was hanging from a tree for five hours to shoot a scene in this show.
- A lot of supernatural shows on TV these days…
Trends come and go but this one is staying long probably because the audience, especially children, like to see larger-than-life fantasies. That’s why supernatural heroes are a huge success.