Interviewer: Gagan Dev Riar initially faced rejection during the Scam 2003 audition, with producers expressing their dissatisfaction.
Gagan Dev Riar discusses his experiences working on Scam 2003: The Telgi Story, his willingness to explore more film opportunities, and his passion for theater.
Gagan Dev Riar takes on the role of Abdul Karim Telgi in Scam 2003: The Telgi Story. (Hindustan Times)
Gagan Dev Riar humorously mentions his weight loss efforts, joking that he needs to look presentable for interviews related to the web series Scam 2003: The Telgi Story, where he portrays the titular character. He underwent a 20 kg weight gain to portray Abdul Karim Telgi, who was convicted in the ₹300,00 crore stamp paper scam. The actor now reveals his journey from initially failing to impress the producers to ultimately securing the role, for which he was actually the first and only choice.
In a conversation with Hindustan Times, Gagan also shares his experience of a challenging fight scene that left him with severe bruises but acknowledges that, during filming, he didn’t realize the extent of his injuries. Dive into the transformation of this actor from “Khalifa” in Sonchiriya to Abdul Karim Telgi. Here are the key points from the interview:
- Gagan Dev Riar’s physical appearance differs from his character in the Scam 2003 trailer. He recounts receiving a call from Mukesh Chhabra during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering him a lead role, which was a new experience for him. After an initial audition that didn’t impress, he took three days to prepare and returned for a successful second audition.
- Gagan did not read Sanjay Singh’s book “Telgi Scam: Reporter’s ki Diary” to avoid creating a caricatured portrayal. He approached the character of Abdul Karim Telgi as a human being striving for success in the city, exploring both the emotional and criminal aspects of his life.
- Gagan Dev Riar acknowledges that comparisons with Pratik Gandhi’s performance in Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story are inevitable but emphasizes that there’s no real basis for comparison. He respects Pratik Gandhi’s exceptional acting in the earlier series and hopes to receive a similar level of appreciation for his portrayal of Abdul Karim Telgi.
- Despite his background in theater and strong acting skills, Gagan faced various challenges during the shoot. The series involved a lot of action scenes that led to injuries, despite taking precautions. Additionally, he had to delve into emotionally intense scenes that required him to tap into uncomfortable mental spaces, which proved mentally and physically demanding as an actor.