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Chhaya's evil face

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By Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Producer Manu Surti has finished shooting for Dhadkaney, directed by Imran Khalid.

The film, a remake of Sanjay Dutt-starrer Sadak, has Harsh Chhaya playing the villainous Maharaja (based on Sadashiv Amrapurkar's eunuch character, Maharani); but Harsh won't play a eunuch in the film.

Sanjay Dutt and Pooja Bhatt's roles are played by newcomers Atin Bhalla and Preeti Mehra. The film will release this month.

Says Surti, "The film is a combination of Sadak and Baaghi. It's about a girl (Preeti Mehra) who is brought up by Badshah (Harsh Chhaya). He brings her up so that she can be introduced to the commercial sex trade when she grows up.

She realises this and runs away with the man she loves (Atin Bhalla) before Badshah can force her to join the profession. The film is about Badshah's hunt for them - he sends goondas after her - his evil machinations and finally, his change of heart. At the end, pyar ki jeet hoti hai."

Remake of a remake

Won't Mahesh Bhatt be upset that they have remade Sadak without his knowledge and permission? "No," says Surti. "Mahesh Bhatt can't afford to protest as Sadak was remade from a Hollywood film. . Harsh plays Badshah, or Maharaja, in my film, as opposed to Maharani in Sadak."

Says Chhaya, "I am very excited to be playing this character. I haven't played this kind of commercial evil character before. It's my first film as a major villain.

He's an over-the-top villain, and I worked very hard on the get-up to look menacing. When we started the film, my character was to be like Maharani's, but the final decision was not to go for that, though there are plenty of similarities. Badshah is not a eunuch."

Chhaya says the transformation wasn't easy. "I went to Photoshop with my photos and tried on different looks and wigs. There was a lot of compromise as we wanted to create a certain image. We found that long hair suited me best."

Character boredom

Why did he play such a role? "I want to play whatever character is available. I don't want to stick to nice, goody-goody roles now. It's very frustrating and boring as an actor to play such roles all the time. I have played bad characters on TV but I have never played such a commercial, melodramatic and over-the-top character like Badshah. It's far more interesting to play a bad guy."

Chhaya is also acting in Madhur Bhandarkar's Corporate, and is "one of the six corporate guys in the film". The actor's TV serial, Sabse Bada Rupaiya, has just ended. "I don't like to work on three projects at the same time. Now that Sabse is over, I am looking around."

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