"I never encountered someone who embodies passion quite like Meghna"-Upen Chauhan aka Tikka from 'Sam Bahadur'

From how he landed the role to director Meghna Gulzar having reservations initially about him, Upen Chauhan opens on his role in Sam Bahadur.

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Upen Chauhan

Actor Upen Chauhan best known for Bhaukaal, The Forgotten Army, Ekta Kapoor's web series, Main Hero Boll Raha Hu and Yeh Hai Chahatein to name a few, features as Tikka Khan, Former Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan in Meghna Gulzar's Sam Bahadur starring alongside Vicky Kaushal, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra. 

Talking about how he landed into the role, he says, "It was one month long audition process as the director Meghna Gulzar has been very specific about each and every character’s look and performances. They took every possible variation of the test scene within the scene’s obligation. Finally, when it was done, I was called for a meeting with Meghna, which was planned to be followed by a look test for my character Tikka Khan."

Sharing about how he landed into the role, he stated, "I arrived at the meeting place, dressed casually in a loose t-shirt and sporting messy hair, my spectacles perched on my nose. As I entered the office, I was greeted by Meghna, who exuded a warm and humble demeanor. We settled into our seats, and she began to delve into the intricacies of the film's story, painting a vivid picture of the character I was to portray. Having thoroughly researched the role during the audition process, I was already well-versed in the nuances of the character."

He further adds, "Following the insightful discussion, we proceeded to the look test. Both Meghna and I were pleasantly surprised by the transformation that had taken place. The makeup and styling seamlessly morphed me into a striking resemblance to Tikka Khan. She confessed that upon my initial arrival, she had harboured doubts about my suitability for the role, considering my casual attire and dishevelled appearance. However, witnessing my transformation during the look test completely dispelled her reservations. We shared a hearty laugh over this revelation."

Describing his working experience with Meghna Gulzar, he says, "I have never encountered someone who embodies passion quite like Meghna. Her unwavering commitment to her craft is truly inspiring. Over the course of five years, she poured her heart and soul into her latest film, meticulously crafting every detail to bring her vision to life. From the initial script readings to the gruelling boxing training sessions, Meghna was present and engaged, her enthusiasm radiating through every aspect of the production. Her attention to detail was remarkable, ensuring that every scene captured her vision with precision. Meghna's meticulous planning and clear communication ensured that the shoot ran smoothly. Every scene was executed on schedule, a reflection of her organization and ability to execute her vision efficiently."

He further states, "Whenever I used to meet her and the team after long intervals (as the shooting schedule was very long), she always used to take time to recognise me as she remembered me as Tikka initially. So she often used to say “Upen is a Chameleon; he changes completely every time I see him”.

Sam Bahadur was released on 1st December 2023 in a clash with Animal.

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