Panaji: Actor Nitish Bharadwaj, best remembered for his role as 'Lord Kirshna' in television epic 'Mahabharat' here said "creative freedom" given by director Ravi Chopra to his actors was the key reason for its success.
Director Ravi Chopra passed away on November 12 in Mumbai after battling lung disease for a long time.
Bharadwaj (51), who is now recreating the same magic of 'Krishna' through his play 'Chakravyuh', said that demise of Ravi Chopra was a major personal loss to him.
"At a personal level, it is a loss to me. He was a director and a friend. He is someone who gave me the creative freedom on how you can develop a role," the actor told PTI on the sidelines of day two of the 45th International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
The actor who made directorial debut with Marathi film 'Pitruroon', recalling the shooting of the legendary serial, said Chopra encouraged to work on the performance.
"He (Chopra) was never into the close mindset. He never told me do my role in a specific way. He encouraged me to do better and better. I am obliged to him," he said.
Bharadwaj remembered how Chopra was instrumental in casting him as the iconic 'Lord Krishna'.
"Someone else was supposed to be cast first?but he (Chopra) was not happy with it and insisted that I can do it better," he said.
Talking about his theatrical performance in the play 'Chakravyuh', Bharadwaj said the experience of portraying Krishna after 25 years was phenomenal.
"I was surprised. I was not expecting this kind of response. In fact I was little nervous and used to wonder how will people respond after 25 years," the actor-turned-director said.
He said after staging the play in so many cities, people still relate to the character and how they still only see him in the role of 'Krishna' and not any other actor.
The actor who once shared a strong bond with the small screen, said he no longer watches television and is currently occupied by his film commitments.
"I am working on my Hindi film as a director for last six months and it will be completed in next three months. It is a very strong story and performance driven script," he said.