Usually actors aspire to play romantic or action roles, but Gagan Malik wanted to play the mythological character of Lord Ram -- he got the chance to do it in the latest version of "Ramayan". He says the character is a huge responsibility and he doesn't fear comparisons with Arun Govil.
"Comparisons are unlikely as I can't even get any closer to Arun Govilji (who played Lord Rama in the original 'Ramayan' televised series in 1987). I have tried to portray the character in my own style and with full conviction. I hope people like it too," Gagan told IANS.
"For a long time, I wanted to portray a role like this and finally I got the opportunity and I am very excited. It's a huge responsibility as people connect to it. We have grown up listening to 'Ramayan' and now being able to bring it to the younger generations, it feels really good," he added.
The actor, who made his small screen debut with popular TV soap "Kumkum", had to work a lot on his physique and body language for the role of Lord Ram.
"It was very important for me to get the look of Lord Rama right and understand it in a better way. I read a lot about it. I had to shed 7-8 kgs to get the look and I have also worked a lot on my body language. However, the spoken language is very simple so that was not a problem at all," he added.
The first televised version of "Ramayan" came in 1987, which was produced and directed by Ramanand Sagar. Produced under the Sagar Arts banner, it was a hit, and Arun Govil got his due for playing Lord Rama.
Another version, by the same production house, came in 2008 with actor Gurmeet Chowdhary playing the same role.
Following his father's footsteps, Moti Sagar recreates the magic once again with the new and simplified version that comes on Zee TV.