Rahil Azam, the very versatile and talented actor fondly known as ‘Hatim’ is back to television after a hiatus with Sony’s Babul Ka Aangann Chootey Naa. The actor adding to his vast repertoire of roles, plays a guy who is the victim of split personality wherein he undergoes a gender change at night.
Here is Rahil Azam getting candid with Telly Buzz...
Take us thro’ this unique split personality role you play in Ratna Sinha’s Babul Ka Aangann Chootey Naa..
Swayam has gone thro’ a mental trauma due to which he is a victim of split personality wherein he becomes a woman at night by the name of Payal who is a prostitute. Talking about Payal, she is a sophisticated and dignified prostitute. There is nothing cheap about her. Above all, the character has been presented so very well that I loved playing the role.
How will the track develop now?
Well, I cannot divulge anything about the next twist at this point, except the fact that the mystery to the ‘Teesri Manzil’ is the split character that lives there. The story will now focus on Swayam and Payal, the two facets of the character for a while. Later, you will see many twists opening up.
Why did you opt for this kind of a role?
I have always wanted to compete with one person i.e. Rahil Azam. Television is completely a woman dominated medium where male actors hardly get any performance-oriented roles. However, I have been one of the lucky few to have got a solo title-oriented project such as Hatim where the story revolved mainly around me. If you see, I have always chosen roles where there is something unique or different to the character, whether it was my action-packed role in Hatim, the under dog in Saarthi or the tough guy in Betiyaan Apni Ya Paraya Dhan. So I guess, next in the line comes this role..
Did you not consider the risk factor involved in taking up a role that involved a gender change?
I believe that an actor should not have any inhibitions whatsoever and has to be willing to do anything and everything. The actor should convince the audience by living the character to the ‘T’. The same happened with me here; the minute I changed my eyelashes, put lipstick and saw myself before the mirror dressed as a girl, my body language changed automatically and I would position my hands just a like a woman does. To sum it up, you can say that I love to take up new challenges…
Any memorable scene as Payal where you were applauded for your efforts?
There is a sequence where Payal performs on the ‘Maar Daala’ song where I give the character a totally different identity for the viewers to see and enjoy! In this sequence, if the viewers even for a second believe that this is a girl dancing, then I will feel that all my efforts have paid off. The sequence has a solo from me and then another solo from the protagonist Aastha and the shoot went off really well; the result of which was before us the very next day, when our producer sent flowers to me and Aastha appreciating our work.
How has your chemistry with Aastha been on the sets?
Aastha is a very good actress and she co-operated very well with me. You always tend to laugh out loud when a character like Payal stands before you and delivers dialogues. But Aastha was very patient and enacted her scenes with me very well. I should thank her for being a good co-star.
You have done various differing roles. Which is the one role that has touched you?
For me, Resham Dankh will always remain close to my heart even though the story was not accepted by the viewers.
Why did you keep a low profile for a long time now?
Soon after Resham Dankh ended, I took up Betiyaan Apni Ya Paraaya Dhan. I also did a series of episodes in Aaryamaan where the role suited my personality. I also did Parivaar on grounds of friendship and had a gala time working there as we were one big family. Before choosing Babul Ka Aangann Chootey Naa, I got various offers but wanted to wait for the best one. I have worked hard on my role here, and have delivered to the best of my capability. Now it’s for the viewers to watch it and give their feedback. Let’s see what happens.
So, what next for Rahil Azam?
Yes, there are many offers piling up one of which is a romantic comedy. But I want to tread carefully and choose the best.
Last but not the least, this kind of a role has been etched for the first time in Television. What do you have to say about this?
Yes, we have seen many schizophrenic characters, split personalities in television, but I am glad that I got to play this very challenging role of a split character which even involves a gender change. I am very happy that I am part of this show. I just hope all my hard work pays off.
Reporter and Author: Srividya Rajesh