More than a year after The Girl On The Train (2021), actor Avinash Tiwary is back on the screens with the Netflix original web series Khakee: The Bihar Chapter. Based on a chapter in the book The Bihar Diaries, which chronicles the life of IPS officer Amit Lodha, the show sees Avinash playing Chandan Mahto, a notorious criminal. In an exclusive chat with News18, he reveals that he was rather ‘apprehensive’ about being a part of the series conceptualised by filmmaker Neeraj Pandey.
Talking about it, he says, “I was really scared of this one. I didn’t know if I wanted to do this initially. To be very honest, I didn’t know if I had the capability of pulling it off. I thought it was too far-fetched for me. I didn’t know if I would be the right fit for it.”
Playing a menacing antagonist so early on in one’s career might not seem like a good move according to some. Though he isn’t the one to believe in any kind of labels or succumb to the pressures of being stereotyped, Avinash had his reservations this time around. “I also had apprehensions regarding the consequences of playing the part. But once I spoke to Bhav (Dhulia; director) and Neeraj sir, I realised they’ve a lot of trust and faith in me. Bhav held my hand and navigated me through all of it. And I had a lot of fun doing the show!” he adds.
Over the years, cop thriller series like Delhi Crime, Aranyak and Special Ops, among many others, have struck a chord with the audience. Khakee: The Bihar Chapter – the latest to join the league – is also being lauded for its rustic setting, characters and authentic local dialect. But many crime thrillers have also come under the scanner for incorporating graphic – visual and verbal – sequences to take the thrill quotient a notch higher.
While Avinash admits that the makers of Khakee: The Bihar Chapter didn’t sensationalise the real story, he confides that he once decided to censor himself during the shoot of a certain project. The 37-year-old says, “There was an apprehension that I had about something. I’ll be more talking about it once it releases and I see it. I felt like I wanted to censor myself, which is very unlike me because I’m someone who can go all out. I truly believe that if certain dialogues are true to a part, I wouldn’t mind saying them. But if the intent is to sensationalise the part, I would want to avoid it.”
He further continues, “But in this case, I was certain and sure that the intention wasn’t to sensationalise anything but I still felt like censoring it and something inside me told me not to do it. This was one moment when I wanted to overtake the character.”
Coming to Khakee: The Bihar Chapter, the makers decided to extensively shoot for it in the interiors of Jharkhand to keep it rooted to its setting. The team kick-started their schedule in the state following the Covid-19 lockdown and though they were cut off from the rest of the world, the Laila Majnu (2018) actor says that it made for an ‘interesting experience’, which he will always hold very close to his heart. He shares, “This was my first visit to the Daltonganj area. It’s five to six hours away from Ranchi and is very close to Betla National Park. It’s a beautiful place but also very down and dusted. It helped us give a true representation of the place we wanted to show in the series.”
Recalling the shoot days, he says, “Daltonganj is a small town where 200-300 people landed and the locals there didn’t have the resources to cater to our needs but they tried their best. In fact, there has only one hotel that opened just a week before we reached there. But a lot of development happened there over a span of three months. It also gave me the opportunity to visit Betla National Park. It’s great for astral photography. Everyone should visit the place. Jharkhand, as a whole, is waiting to be explored. It has great potential to become a booming tourist location.”
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