This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Veteran actor Puneet Issar has been part of two Mahabharat shows – once he played Duryodhana in BR Chopra’s classic and then he played the role of Parashuram in Siddharth Tewary’s version. Doordarshan has been re-airing some of the mythological shows currently and Mahabharat is one of them which is receiving great response.
Speaking of the auditioning for the role, Puneet recently revealed that when he auditioned for BR Chopra’s show, he was being looked at as Bheem instead of the Duryodhana. “When I went to BR Chopra for the audition, after looking at my personality, he said ‘You are taken as Bheem’. I said ‘No sir, I have read the Mahabharat and I would like to audition for only Duryodhana’s character. He said, ‘Kamaal hai. Hum tumhe hero bana rahe hai aur tum villain banna chaah rahe ho.’ I told him that I know what is the importance of Duryodhana’s character in Mahabharat. I had read this book called Jayadrath Vadh. It is maha-kavya by Maithli Sharan Gupt. It's in poetry form and I knew it by heart. I recited Jayadrath Vadh and was immediately chosen to play Duryodhan. That’s how I got the role,” he told India Today recently.
The reason Puneet Issar chose Duryodhana’s character over Bheem because he knew the character in depth. He had read Urubhangam, written by Mahakavi Bhaas, which depicted Mahabharat from Duryodhana’s point of view. He knew that he would be able to do justice to the character.
Speaking of the final battle between Kauravas and Pandavas, he said that prepping for that required him to get into the zone as he had big dialogues. Recalling an incident during the shooting, he said, “We were shooting the climax scene of Mahabharat, I was preparing as I had some long dialogues, and when I go into that zone, I don’t like to talk to anybody. I was rehearsing my lines when I noticed a woman standing there. After about two-three hours, she gathered the courage to come and talk to me. She came to me with folded hands and said, “Rajaji aap itna gussa kyun karte hai. Aap Pandavon ko paanch gaaon de dijiye na. Yeh yudh samapt kar dijiye na." (laughs) I was unanimously branded as dusht, which means people liked my performance.”
Mahabharat is currently airing on Doordarshan.
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