After working with big production houses like Yash Raj Films’ (Luv Ka The End) and Dharma Productions’ (Gippi), Taaha Shah is set to make his Hollywood debut. The actor is playing an important role in Draupadi Unleashed, an independent project written and directed by Tony Stopperan. The film is based on the novel — Passion River by Nisha Sabharwal, who has also co-directed the project. The film was scheduled to release on March 20 but has been postponed because of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Taaha, who plays the role of Gautam, says that his character is a mamma’s boy, something he could relate to. “Besides that, he is a man of faith and is extremely spiritual. Gautam stands for certain principles that won’t be broken no matter what. That trait I got from my brother. Plus he is all about living life with love,” says the actor.
Draupadi Unleashed, set in 1930s British-ruled India, follows the story of a 16-year-old girl who is seeking her own identity against arranged marriage and the manipulations of a powerful guru. The multi-generational saga stars Salena Qureshi, Anna George, Dominic Rains, Cas Anvar, Azita Ghanizada, Pooja Batra and others.
As the film stars actors from different continents, how was the experience of shooting for the film, we ask. Taaha says, “Diversity is so educational. Getting to learn different points of view, techniques, new lingo, jokes and accents was a fantastic experience.”
Taaha has been shuttling between India and USA for some time now as he wants to broaden his horizons and is scouting for opportunities. Ask him how he got associated with Draupadi Unleashed and he replies that it was because of his team’s consistent support.
“Tushar, my manager and friend, has been the man with the plan. He got me through the audition and then from there on, it was, well, history.”
And is he exploring opportunities in Hollywood because he isn’t getting interesting work back home, we wonder.
“I feel the world is ‘one’ nowadays”, he explains, adding, “It’s all about good content and of course Hollywood is Hollywood. It’s another giant uphill battle. Risks and challenges keep me motivated in my mode of grit. Also once I got shortlisted for a major project in USA, I thought, ‘Hey! I’m doing something right, so why not give it a go’. I am not going to lose anything. There is great work in Bollywood and I love Bollywood. I have got some interesting projects coming up here too.”
And how easy or difficult was it to get work in Hollywood compared to Bollywood? He says that anyone who thinks something is easy and difficult at the same time is probably right. “I had no one in Mumbai when I first moved there and it was the same story when I first travelled to USA. There is still a long path to be treaded,” says Taaha, who is shooting for another Hollywood film. Its story is based in the Cold War era. “It’s a musical with symphonies. I am very excited for that one. I also have a web series and a film, which are in post production stage right now,” he says before signing off.