With 1996's critically-acclaimed Maachis, Chandrachur Singh established himself as an actor to watch, and the story behind how he landed the film is quite funny.
The actor, who has been receiving rave reviews for his onscreen comeback with web series Aarya, shared the story with us.
"Gulzar ji was looking for a bearded character and I had not shaved when I went to meet him. I didn't even know that's what he wanted. So, that helped tremendously. I remember him always joking about, 'I need Chandrachur's date for his beard. I need Chandrachur's date for shoot.' I was shooting both, Tere Mere Sapne and Maachis, simultaneously at the time.
"I would like to make a special mention of Gulzaar sahab and Joy (Augustine) ji who gave me Tere Mere Sapne. Your first films are defining moments for you, so whoever gives you that opportunity one must never forget that. I never struggled before I got Maachis but I don't think I could have a better debut than that. It was creatively and commercially satisfying," Chandrachur said.
For several years, Chandrachur disappeared from the public eye -- until he re-emerged with Ram Madhvani's latest family crime drama, which is currently streaming on Hotstar. However, the actor said if it wasn't for the unconditional love and support of his fans, he would never have returned to the screen.
"They have been very good and helpful. Because even when I was not working I was constantly getting encouraged by them. Whenever I would go out on an event, they would tell me that they would like to see more of me on the screen," the actor said.
Talking about his comeback with Aarya, he said, "I think when you know that you are going to work with someone who you can trust in terms of the content, half the battle is won. I just wanted to give my best and acting workshops helped tremendously. It just became a happy, large family because it felt something special was happening. It seemed so natural somehow that every time I would arrive on the sets and it felt home."
In his career, Chandrachur has portrayed a series of goody-two-shoes characters in films such as Tere Mere Sapne, Dil Kya Kare, Kya Kehna and Josh. But Aarya shows him in a never-seen-before avatar. In the show, he plays a rich businessman who seems to hide a dark secret from his family.
"There were a lot of things that I related with this character. I think life teaches you a lot. And, you also learn with new experiences. So you get tapped into emotions and get what is required for the character, but what was interesting about this character was that it was multi-dimensional. It almost had every facet of emotions that an actor would like to portray on screen."
Chandrachur, who was once touted to be the next big thing of Hindi cinema, looks back on his career with no regrets.
He said, "One doesn't learn in life without making mistakes. I also believe that every film has its own destiny. There are so many times that actors are changed for roles. Sometimes someone wants to play a particular role but someone else ends up playing that role. So, I have no regrets."