Gauahar Khan on playing Maithili in Amazon Prime's Tandav, her love for reality shows: 'I fit into every medium'

Seema Sinha
·5-min read

For Gauahar Khan, her character in recently released political thriller Tandav was not relatable for a simple reason that she is extremely vocal and upfront in her real life.

Whereas, the actor, who plays Maithili Sharan, confidante to Dimple Kapadia's politician Anuradha Kishore on the series, portrays a character that remains "calm in the storm".

"Maithili is quite opposite of who I am. Personally I am a very vocal person but here she was the mind, she was the brain, she's the confidante of one of the key players of the entire game. She's the right hand of a very powerful person, so she had to play her cards right and that too in the most unpredictable manner. I was underplaying that character. In fewer words she had to show what exactly her plan is. And she is also very secretive; she doesn't give out her game plan very easily. You would never know what she is actually thinking from her expressions. I enjoyed playing Maithili. Maithili is a special character to me because of this overall power that she has in this game of power," says Khan.

Khan, who recently grabbed headlines when she tied the knot with her beau Zaid Darbar, says that she has been garnering a lot of praise from the industry and people for the nine-part political drama created and directed by Ali Abbas Zafar.

Set in Delhi, Tandav aims to take viewers inside the corridors of power and uncover the manipulations and the dark secrets of people. The show also stars Saif Ali Khan, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Kumud Mishra, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, Dino Morea, Sandhya Mridul, Kritika Kamra and Sunil Grover among others.

"The industry knows me as a credible actor but this is a different kind of role. I am getting great reviews in the press saying that I have stood on my own in front of the legendary actress Dimple Kapadia. It was an honour to work with her and in that kind of space even to be noticed is a big deal. I am very happy with the response," she says, furthering, "I learnt a lot from Dimpleji, she is amazing at her prep. She is like a student who learns her lines completely. She will be interested to know how the DOPs are lighting her. She is very professional and very helpful on sets. She doesn't feel she is a big star and she is always interested in her co-stars. She will try to make them look better."

In the series, Khan is seen flaunting elegant sarees and she has also experimented with her hair and jewellery. "My look in Tandav is completely Subarna Roy Choudhary, the costume designer for the film. She has given a very distinct character to every woman and almost all the women are wearing sari in the show. I would drape saris myself and Subarna was very happy that I could do it in 30 seconds flat. Even Dimpleji was quite surprised that I was draping my own saris. I love wearing saris also because it suits my body type and it is the first time that I played a character where I was required to wear only saris and that too cotton saris that suited my character so well."

From modelling, to featuring in music videos, to working in reality television shows, to movies, Khan, known for her work in films like Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year, Ishaqzaade, Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Begum Jaan, among others, has often described herself as a complete package. "I am accepted (across) the industry. I started off my career with songs. I enjoy dancing. My first appearance in Bollywood was with a song. But I never felt that I was not getting good work, in fact, I was at my peak when I was doing songs and dance. I see entertainment as a complete package. I fit into every medium. I do it all, I have never restricted myself. I have done a lot of things that I am satisfied with. I have done Begum Jaan, Rocket Singh, Ishaqzaade, Badrinath Ki Dulhania. I am very happy with my career, I have nothing to complain about. I am doing songs even after being in the entertainment world for 18 years," she says.

Khan also gets a big high projecting her true personality in front of people and that explains her participation in reality TV shows such as Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 3, Bigg Boss 7 and Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 5. She recently featured as one of the seniors in Bigg Boss 14. "I love reality television and if something interesting comes up I will definitely do it. The best part about my journey is that I have got more and more love for Gauahar Khan the personality than Gauahar Khan the actor; so I feel that reality is what people want to see me in. I love the fact that people can know me as Gauahar Khan and not as a character I am playing. I have received love for who I am." says Khan.

But as of now she is excited that her first show on Amazon Prime Video has catapulted her in a big league. "Tandav has been very lucky for me because the moment I signed on and completed the show, I was doing another Amazon show, during the lockdown. Then I am doing yet another show on another big platform. I have also completed a film. With the kind of appreciation I am getting I am hoping that I will get more substantial and even leads on the digital and web platform," Khan concludes.

(All images from Twitter)

Also See: Tandav review: Amazon Prime Video's campy, poorly-researched political series misses the mark

Tandav makers agree to 'make changes' after being accused of hurting religious sentiments

I&B ministry seeks explanation from Amazon Prime Video after Tandav accused of 'hurting religious sentiments of Hindus'

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