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Exclusive! Taj: Divided by Blood actor Aashim Gulati on working with Naseeruddin Shah: He's such a wonderful actor and a beautiful human being

The ZEE5 originals series also stars Dharmendra, Rahul Bose and Aditi Rao Hydari among others.

Exclusive! Taj: Divided by Blood actor Aashim Gulati on working with Naseeruddin Shah: He's such a wonderful actor and a beautiful human being

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Aashim Gulati (Source: Instagram)

  • Sunidhi Prajapat

Last Updated: 08.02 PM, Mar 28, 2023

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Aashim Gulati rose to fame by playing a charming character in Tum Bin II. Post that, he was seen portraying different kinds of roles in multiple shows and films such as Dil Sambhal Jaa Zara, Hostages and more. He has recently been seen playing the character of Salim in ZEE5 Original Taj: Divided by Blood alongside veteran stars like Dharmendra and Naseeruddin Shah with talented actors such as Rahul Bose, and Aditi Rao Hydari.

In a candid chat with OTTplay, Aashim spoke about his latest show and his journey of playing such a famous historical character. He also talked about his experience of working with huge stars. Excerpts:

First of all what was your reaction after you bagged the role of Salim, which is one of the most influential historical beings?

Of course, I was a little nervous because I didn't have too much time to get into the shoes of Salim. So that was a bit, like scary. But overall, I was over of like, I was very, very excited. And I just counted my blessings. And I just thought that this is the like, you know, this is the character that you get to play once in a lifetime. 

And I think I'm very lucky. But also, I pat myself on the back for it, because I worked hard to get to a point where people could believe that I could be a character like this.

Even being a romantic person, your character Salim is very intense. Where did you find the inspiration? And How did you prep- because he is romancing and doing sword fighting too?

For me, the most important thing was his physicality. Of course, there was like intense training whenever we got the time to because I was doing my horseriding and I was doing sword fighting and more and it was of course intense. And we had to go through that but apart from that, like the whole romantic part for me like it's not about like, oh, I have to romance and then I have to be intense. It was like that was not my driving force for it. My main note for myself to play Salim was that you just have to make him honest.

I consciously didn't get inspired by any actor, who played Salim earlier, because I didn't want to get anything in my head about anything else. I wanted it to be a very fresh perspective on Salim because there's already so much written about Salim of course the essence of Salim remains that he was passionate about love and art.

How surreal was it to share the screen space with Naseeruddin Sir and be in the same show with Dharam Ji? Tell us about the equation.

With Dharmendra Ji, I didn't have scenes in the show but it's great to be a part of the show with him. On the other hand, Naseeruddin Sir and I had many scenes in the show. He's such a wonderful actor and a beautiful human being. He used to treat us like equals, you know, from an actor who's not anywhere close to the league that he comes in, is very important for them to feel comfortable with an actor like that.

And how was your chemistry with Aditi Rao Hydari?

With me, she was very sweet. We had great camaraderie. when we read the first scene, I am also somebody who doesn't take too much time to get acquainted. It doesn't take a lot of time for me when I start getting to know anyone. So maybe even with her, it was I just like that. It was almost like we knew each other for a long time. So it was very easy with her. She's very easy to work with, at least with me. It's like I had a great time. So, she was very sweet, very kind and very, very giving.

Some of the viewers find the show long and drag and they also have to say that the dialogues were outdated too, do you think that that is the reason that this show was not able to connect with some of the audience?

At first, he hums Kishore Kumar's hit song Kuchh to Log Kahenge.

I think it's completely normal. It's completely okay. Everybody has their own opinions. If you don't like it you don't like it's as simple as that. 

Aashim, it's been almost 8 years for you in the industry, you have been into various shows, web series and films. Do you feel that opportunities or let's say better opportunities have come your way since the rise of the OTT?

Of course, the because of OTTs a lot of opportunities have arrived. It's still not very easy as we still go through the same auditioning process. But what's happened with the coming of OTT is that every artist, whether they be a writer or a director, everybody has a job now. You know, there's so much content being made, there's such influx of work that's coming in, that people who were not working for so long, are working, they don't have time right now, which is the best thing ever. 

Everybody who's creative, who's in the field of art should always be working and should be doing something and creating something. And that's what we do. So now with the OTT, I think there are much better, bigger opportunities. There are opportunities, period. Everybody's getting a chance to showcase their talent. And everybody's getting a platform to do it, which is amazing!