‘When you work with the likes of Jennifer Winget and Aneri, you have to up your game,’ says Piyush Sahdev of Beyhadh

After a break of two years due to a knee injury, Piyush Sahdev made a tremendous comeback as Samay in Beyhadh. In a show defined with its spectacular performances, Piyush shone out brightly with fans terming his acting as next only to Jennifer Winget who gave an once-in-a-lifetime performance on the show. Delhi boy Piyush has been a part of the industry since 2007. He has worked in shows like Geet, Devon Ke Dev…Mahadev and Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke. However, it is the role of Rajeev Randhawa/Samay Ahuja which has been his most fulfilling experience. Here are excerpts from an interview…

Emotional end
Beyhadh was a really special show. You don’t get to play characters like Samay in every other serial. It was a role where I really got to showcase acting talent and how versatile I could be. Beyhadh was a great comeback and I got very emotional when my role finally ended. I could do what I wanted to as an actor for this show. It has been very fulfilling to say the least.

Competing with Jennifer Winget
See, it was not about competition.  I was apprehensive before taking up the role of Samay. It was a grey character. Then, the producers told me that Samay could do anything for love. It was like Shah Rukh Khan’s character in Darr. After watching the film, people were rooting for Kiran (Juhi Chawla) and him to be together. Like him, Samay also wanted his love. I did not think about competition in the acting department. But when you have performers like Jennifer and Aneri Vajani on a show, you have to up your game. I took my role very seriously. Maine imandari se kiya and tried to do full justice to it. Beyhadh was not shot like a daily soap. If a scene needed something, the producers ensured that no expense was spared for getting it right. When your producers are investing so much, which is rare for TV shows, you want to deliver your best as an actor.

Jennifer – A dream co-star
I used to be always in the character of Samay on the show. I remember there was this two minute scene between Jennifer and me. Later, the production told us that it would be a 20-minute scene and the dialogues were being written on the set. So, we were looking at each other with no words being spoken. Jennifer and I decided to improvise on it. After it got edited, we had a footage of 22 minutes, which was used on the show. The best part of working with Jennifer was that she was delivering her best. In acting, it is all about give and take. I was always motivated because of Jennifer. I won’t deny that her presence helped me enormously. On the funnier side, I know Aneri since a long time. When she started doing Beyhadh, she told me Piyushbhai, please see my new show and give me feedback. She said it was shot like a movie. I watched Beyhadh for a month though I don’t watch TV shows. While watching, I used to feel viewers would have more fun if they saw a character who could dominate Maya a little. Beyhadh is all about her, and she has no takkar but another antagonist would be nice. I never knew that three months down the line, I would be chosen to be that guy.

Fitter and sexier
At the end of Sapne Suhane, I had a knee injury, which was supposed to heal in four months but took a year. I was on bed rest and had gone into depression as I could not move about freely. I got roles but had to refuse them due to my condition. I also started eating a lot as you do when you are depressed. I gained kilos. I was out of action for a year and slowly resumed my walks and workouts. Post that, I took another year off as I wanted my comeback to be a really good one. Hitting the gym was easy but controlling my diet was the toughest part. I managed that and shed all the flab. There is a lot of competition in the market. You have to look chiselled, act well, know how to dance and look 10 years younger! My motive was to look fitter and different. My friend Jay Soni said he could not recognise me when he saw me in Beyhadh. I was hoping for this. While working on my body, I also honed my craft. I would do riyaaz, modulate my voice and body language. I wanted that people should notice immediately after my comeback and thankfully, that happened.

Internalising Samay
You really needed to believe in Samay for that role to come out well. In fact, I was so into him that I did not need to re-read the dialogues. Beyhadh is an unforgettable journey for me. My fave scenes are when I cut my finger to avoid putting on Saanjh’s ring and when I kiss the tissue thrown off by Maya after she wipes herself as she hates being touched by me.

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