TV actor Gagan Malik to star in Sri Lankan film on Buddha

New Delhi: Delhi boy Gagan Malik, who is essaying the character of Lord Ram in Zee TV`s epic retelling of `Ramayan`, has bagged his debut international project ‘Siddharth - The Buddha’.

The actor plays the titular character in the Sri Lankan film which will focus on the journey of Gautam Buddha`s life. The film will release in Sri Lanka on January 17.

"I am excited for my first international project. I worked really hard to be a part of it. 300 men had auditioned for the role. The film is in Sinhala and if it gets good response then it will be dubbed in other languages also," Gagan told reporters.

A former Mr India contestant, Gagan rose to fame with TV series `Pratha` and `Navya`. But he said he always had an inclination towards period drama and also grabbed the opportunity when he was offered to play Lord Ram.

To be in sync with the character, Gagan says he has quit non-vegetarian food and started growing his own hair.

"Playing the character of Lord Ram is very close to my heart. Like any other child in India, I also grew up listening to the braveries of the Lord. I am more than happy to bag the offer and have decided to be like him in real life too.

"I have started controlling my temper and have quit non-veg food. I am working hard on every physical aspect of the character. I have decided to grow my own hair rather than use wigs and also do Surya Namaskar and other forms of yoga to get the right body. I am also reading the Ramcharitmanas," he said.

The 30-episode series, which went on air on August 12, has been created by late Ramanand Sagar`s granddaughter Meenakshi and it will be presented in a very simple language for the youth to comprehend.

Asked if he is scared of being typecast, he said, "I never fear that if I do such roles then I will get typecast but rather I become more responsible towards my life. I think after portraying such a noble character I will never be able to portray any bad or negative character in my life."

Being born and brought up in Delhi, he is always inclined to mythological series. He was earlier also offered such roles but they did not materialise.

"I was earlier roped in to play Lord Krishna in two epic series but they didn`t materialise. As I grew up watching Ramleela in Delhi, the atmosphere there has always inculcated a religious essence in me.

"When I was young, I used to participate in our colony Ramleela and I have always played the character of Ram in it. I never thought that one day I will portray such character on TV," he said.