New Delhi: Actor Aashim Gulati who is back as Prince Salim in ZEE5’s original series ‘Taj-Reign of Revenge’, says he can relate to Salim’s free-flowing attitude and his flamboyance.
Zee5’s original series, ‘Taj: Divided by Blood’ was released on March 3, and went on to become the most watched original series on the platform. The
blood battle between King Akbar’s sons for the Mughal throne piqued everyone’s interest and kept them hooked to the war of succession. Now, the
battle for the throne will continue but this time, it is fiercer, grittier and darker as the cracks within the family will deepen with the blows of revenge.
The story of ‘TAJ’ S2 begins 15 years after season one ended, and charts Salim’s journey from being the exiled enemy of the Mughal empire to seeking blood and revenge in an attempt to become the next Emperor. In this dark, dangerous, and destructive path he is surrounded by enemies from all sides with few allies like Meherunnisa – his new love interest.
The eight-part succession series will continue to star Naseeruddin Shah as King Akbar, Dharmendra as Shaikh Salim Chisti, Aashim Gulati as Prince Salim, Shubham Kumar Mehra as Prince Daniyal, Sandhya Mridul as Queen Jodha Bai, Zareena Wahab as Queen Salima, Queen Ruqaiya Begum as Padma Damodaran, Rahul Bose as Mirza Hakim in key roles and Pankaj Saraswat as Abul Fazl, Aayam Mehta as Badayuni, Digambar Prasad as Man Singh and Shivani Tanksale as Bakht un Nisa in secondary roles.
In an interaction with UNI, Aashim talks about the show, challenges, OTT and much more.
On how much he can relate to his character ‘Salim’, Aashim said, “the free-flowing attitude and the kind of devoted lover that he is. He has got a flamboyance about him and yeah I can relate to it. I have a little bit of the good traits of Salim.”
If playing Salim was ‘challenging’, the 32-year-old actor said, ” It’s a great honour and opportunity to portray a character which has been portrayed by
the great Dilip sahab. So I looked at it in a very positive light, as not many people get to play such characters in their lifetime. I hope that I get bigger
and better characters and I play them with utmost honesty and sincerity.”
Aashim further revealed that he did not take any inspiration from Dilip Kumar, who had portrayed Salim’s character in 1960’s historical drama
‘Mughal-e-Azam’. “I wanted to be authentic to my personality and keep the essence of the periodic world that we are showing in this. It was just how I
perceived Salim to be and people have loved my portrayal of Salim, and that is what I am very grateful for,” he said.
On whether love like ‘Anarkali and Salim’ still exists, the ‘Gulmohar Grand’ fame said, “Yes, love is love. If you love someone with devotion, I think it is the same love that Salim had for Anarkali.”
Aashim, who has done web-shows like ‘Hostages’, ‘The Holiday’, says it’s been amazing to work on OTT. “I have four-five things coming up all on OTT. I am glad that so much content is being made, and actors like me who come from nowhere, are getting opportunities to work in the industry that is already so packed, and people are coming from all over the world to become actors, and it is not an easy thing. But OTT has given me a great opportunity and I think it’s a blessing in disguise,” he said.
The actor further said that he has always been a director’s actor. “But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring your own flavours. It’s a responsibility of an
actor to bring surprise to his character and give options to the director. Whether he likes it or not that’s his call as after all it’s a director’s baby and I have to be in sync with the director’s vision,” he added.
The cast of season two is joined by Sauraseni Maitra as Meherunnisa (Noor Jahaan), Jiansh Agarwal as Prince Khusrav and Mitansh Lulla as Prince Khurram who go on to become the most important characters in this season.
It is currently streaming on ZEE5.