Actor Upen Chauhan essays Tikka Khan, Former Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan in Meghna Gulzar’s Sam Bahadur, starring alongside Vicky Kaushal, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra. Previously, known for his work in Bhaukaal, The Forgetten Army, Ekta Kapoor’s web series, Main Hero Boll Raha Hu and Yeh Hai Chahatein, the actor gets candid about his working experience in Sam Bahadur and how he prepped for the character.
Upen said, “The character Tikka Khan has a significantly brutal share in history. I researched well about him without judging as he ordered killing of more than 10 lakhs people in Bangladesh. The infamously said to his army “I need the land not the people”. So I made my own reasons to accept the character to take such actions.”
Sharing about how he prepped for the character, he tells, “The challenges I faced in preparing for this film role were twofold: I needed to convincingly portray two distinct ages, 26 and 52. Fortunately, the production schedule allowed ample time to prepare for both roles. Vicky Kaushal and I underwent rigorous boxing training for nearly ten months, 5 sessions with each training session lasting 6-10 days. To achieve the appearance of an older character, I gained approximately 8-10 kilograms of body fat. Within two months, I had shed the excess fat and gained 5 kilograms of muscle to convincingly portray a 25-year-old boxer with a physique broader than Vicky’s. The well-planned shooting schedule provided ample time to overcome these challenges successfully.”
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Recalling his working experience with Vicky Kaushal, he mentioned, “Collaborating with Vicky Kaushal is an absolute delight. His childlike enthusiasm and student-like dedication to his craft are truly remarkable, especially considering his immense talent. In fact, ‘super talented’ is an understatement for Vicky. His genuine approach to life seamlessly blends talent into his very being, a trait that’s exceptionally rare. His smiles, hugs, compliments, concerns, and care are never forced, creating an inclusive and joyful work environment for everyone around him.”
“We engaged in deep conversations about work, art, and life, trained together, and shared lighthearted moments like students. After each shoot, I would chat with Rohan, who also portrays ‘Atiqqur Rehman’ in Sam Bahadur, and we’d both agree that Vicky Kaushal deserves far more than the superstar status he already holds,” he added.
On talking about what should audiences expect, he shared, “The film will take the audience much closer to the journey of Indian army; because journey of Sam Manekshaw and journey of Indian Army are not apart but parallels. Audience will get to see the two ages that I could achieve through physical transformation and not prosthetics. Zero prosthetics were used for Tikka’s look. ”