Being part of a costume drama is no joke, where a lot goes into making a mythological character look perfect on screen. Be it getting into the costume or getting out of the look, everything takes longer than usual. Actor Kanan Malhotra, who plays the role of Vishnu in Swastik Productions’ Mahakaali – Anth Hi Aarambh, says that he takes about two hours getting into costume and an hour getting out of it.
“I always thought that mythological shows are not my cup of tea. The costumes, heavy jewellery and language were challenging for me initially. It takes me a minimum of 2 hours to do the makeup. They paint my entire body in blue and then I put on the costume. When we are done shooting, it takes an hour to remove the same. My costume weighs 19 kg and Mukut, that is the crown, alone weighs 4.5 kg,” says the actor, who has been seen in shows such as Shani and Surya Putra Karna as well.
Of course, people’s reaction to his look has been peculiar. “I was travelling, dressed in my costume, from one set to another for the shoot. This guy saw me in the car and was so frightened that he lost control of his scooter and fell. I slowed down my car and thought of helping him but he was so afraid to see me that I just couldn’t help him,” laughs Kanan.
Talking about essaying the role of Vishnu in the show, Kanan says, “Vishnu is known to be the preserver and protector in the trinity along with Shiv and Brahma. He preserves and protects the order of things in order to maintain harmony. So it’s a beautiful character and I am enjoying playing the same.”
Working with Siddharth Kumar Tewary and Rahul Kumar Tewary is an amazing learning experience, says Kanan. “Siddharth Tewary and Rahul Tewary both are very good producers. They believe in team work and are very chilled out but at the same time, they are hard working. Siddharth Tewary has a very clear vision of what he wants and how to make that work. They know how to extract the character from an actor and produce the best possible results. That’s why Mahakali is the number one today,” he says.
Ask him why he feels his fans shouldn’t miss the show and he says that this has a lot to do with the concept of the show. “We are basically showing Parvati’s journey of becoming the fearless goddess Mahakali. Lord Shiva’s love for his wife Parvati was so intense and passionate that it shook the cosmos and frightened the other Gods at times. When he is with his wife, she has his undivided attention and love. So it’s a beautiful love story as well,” he says, adding, “The show is all about women power. In our society, it is believed that men are superior to women but Shiva never believed that. He respected Parvati and gave her strength in different ways. The chemistry shown between Shiva and Parvati would definitely teach the audience how to respect the women.”