EXCLUSIVE: 'This Neeraj Pandey project is my big Bollywood debut,' says Karan Tacker on starring in spy action thriller 'Special Ops'


19 years. 12 Countries. 6 Agents. 1 Mastermind. Neeraj Pandey is set to launch the biggest spy action thriller of 2020 Special Ops. This fast-paced 8-episode series is based on the role of Indian intelligence in a series of real terror attacks that India faced over the last 19 years. Starting with the 2001 attack on Indian Parliament, the show goes back and forth in time covering several other events including 26/11, Kashmir terror attacks amongst others; and the chase for the single mastermind behind these attacks – making it the longest manhunt in Indian Intelligence for India’s deadliest enemy. The show, which will stream from March 17 on Hotstar, features an ensemble cast including Kay Kay Menon, Divya Dutta, Vinay Pathak, Karan Tacker, Sajjad Delafrooze, Sana Khaan, Saiyami Kher, Meher Vij, Vipul Gupta, Muzammil Ibrahim amongst others. 

Karan, who is returning for a show after a long time, plays a RAW agent Farooq who is one of remarkably skilled agents hired by Kay Kay's character Himmat. Now in an exclusive chat with PeepingMoon.com. the actor talks about his experience of working with Neeraj, his role in the web show and more. Excerpts from the interview:

You are making you debut on an OTT platform with Special Ops...

It is a Neeraj Pandey directed and produced show, which is set on an international level. It is based on the longest manhunt spanning 19 years. Without revealing much, I would say that I am an integral part of the show and I am both excited and thrilled to be a part of it. 

You have returned for a show after a hiatus. How does it feel to be back on shoot again?

It has been fantastic. Also to play a character like this, where I get to showcase my craft, is something I have always been looking for. In fact, my character undergoes different changes in a span of 7-8 years on the show. So I had fun shooting it and I am elated that the show came at the time it did. 

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Tell us something about your character..

I play a RAW agent Farooq, who gets on board to find one person. In the show, Kay Kay Menon’s character Himmat spots me, considering that he sees something in me to get me on with his operation. 

How did you bag the role?

I was holidaying in Landour, Mussoorie when I got a call from a casting director about the show. Since I was on the go, I found a public toilet and shot for the scene that he had asked me to do. It all worked out and then I met Neeraj for a narration. It is in fact interesting that I got this project so spontaneously while travelling. 

What was your experience like on working with Neeraj and the cast?

It was outstanding. I had extreme joy working with him and he was always on my wish list. He has a very interesting way to write characters, more like when commercial meets real cinema. He’s been a master with espionage thrillers and headlining such projects with him makes you feel like a hero. He makes you feel assured. Not that he needs validation from me, but he is exceptionally good. He always has answers to questions from his crew members. 

As far as the cast, we are fortunate to have such an ensemble. There are parallel stories going on in the show, in India and internationally. Credits to Neeraj for pulling off this cast. 

We heard you are supposed to make your Bollywood debut with Student of the Year 2

Not that I don’t want to be a feature film hero, this Neeraj Pandey project is my big Bollywood debut. It has everything. As an actor, you always want to work with good makers and producers, who helm projects in the right fashion. So it does not matter to me as long as I am working with people like that, be it on TV, web or feature films. 

Considering Krystle D'souza is making her Bollywood debut, what do you have to say on that?

I don’t know about it so I cannot comment.