There is no main lead in Tandav, says actor Gauahar Khan who believes that the highlight of the upcoming political drama is the diversity of its massive ensemble cast.
Created and directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, the nine-part political drama is set in Delhi and aims to take viewers inside the closed, chaotic corridors of power and uncover the manipulations, charades as well as the dark secrets of people who will go to any lengths in pursuit of power.
The show also stars Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Kumud Mishra, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, and Sunil Grover, among others.
Khan, known for her work in films like Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year and Ishaqzaade, said Zafar treated every actor at par with each other.
“There is not a single lead or one character that can drive this kind of a series. The strength of this series is the variety of characters that come in and add to the story.
“I think he is smart enough to know how important each element is for the show. And that’s how he treated us even on set. Each character was given such weightage on the show that it was really impressive,” the 37-year-old actor told PTI in an interview.
Khan said she realised the large scale of the series when Zafar, known for directing blockbusters like Tiger Zinda Hai and Sultan, sent her the script.
“I was like, ‘Wow, this is a huge show with so many characters.’ At the time, I didn’t know who was going to play which character. I just knew that there will be a lot of very strong characters and my part is one of them.
“And when I got to know that Saif is on board with such an amazing cast and finally Dimple ma’am came towards the end, I was very excited.”
Khan, who plays Maithili Sharan, the confidante of Kapadia’s politician Anuradha Kishore on the series, said she loved portraying a character that remains “calm in the storm”.
“She’s not someone who would panic and come under pressure, and that is why she is so close to Dimple ma’am’s character Anuradha. Maithili is a special character to me because of this overall power that she has in this game of power.”
The actor was all praise for Zafar, who represents the new crop of directors in the industry. “He is very new age and does not have the typical Bollywood mindset that only men can lead a film. He understood the essence of the show.
“One of the strongest points of Tandav is that there are so many women who play really strong characters. It is interesting to watch even women in power. So, it’s not just for effect. It is actually what Tandav is all about.”
Since her debut with Rocket Singhin 2009, Khan has been quite selective with her projects. Her last feature was the 2017 period drama Begum Jaan, alongside Vidya Balan.
“I’m not choosy but I do relate to quality. For me, the kind of production house and the people I’m working with matters a lot. Every year, I have done projects that have stood out. So for me, quality matters and not that I should just keep churning out things back to back.”
Tandav is also Khan’s first project to come out since her Christmas wedding with dancer Zaid Darbar.
“I found love and got married in a year like 2020. My life is always about being happy and positive. That’s how I have been and that’s how I plan to lead it in the future as well.”
Tandav is slated to start streaming on Amazon Prime Video from Friday.