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Mohammad Ali Baig on playing diverse roles on stage and digital screen

Mohammad Ali Baig in ‘The Name of God’   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

From enacting prince Quli donning royal robes on stage to playing Rossie, a hippie sporting ear studs and a nose ring on the digital screen, Hyderabad-based theatre personality Mohammad Ali Baig expands his oeuvre as an actor and as he debuts in the new Telugu web series In the Name of God, which is streaming on AHA.

The Priyadarshi-starrer, directed by Vidyasaagar Muthukumar, may have opened to mixed response from the audience, but Baig’s ‘untidy role’ has been recognised. “ I have been receiving compliments on Instagram,” exults Baig, over a phone call.

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Baig and veteran filmmaker Suresh Krissna, who produced the series, have wanted to work together for a long time. “We share a mutual respect and bond but he didn’t know where to place me in,” says Baig. “Rossie is an antagonist but not a villain; he has run away from Israel and strayed into Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh. He speaks Telugu (with a different accent), gets people hooked to weed and is also the guy who turns the protagonist into an antagonist,” he explains his character.

Mohammad Ali Baig in ‘The Name of God’

Mohammad Ali Baig in ‘The Name of God’   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

To portray Rossie’s personality, Baig imbibed the hippie body language and mannerisms. Pointing out that he dubbed in his voice, he says, “People are surprised that I can read and write Telugu and even probably make a correction when needed.” The shooting happened in phases at Maredumalli forest, Rajahmundry, Amalapuram and also at Chennai and Hyderabad.

Baig’s outings in web series include the second season of Imtiaz Ali-directed drama series She where he plays a cop investigating the drug mafia. Describing that role as ‘anti-Rossie’, he says, “He is a sophisticated guy and brought into Mumbai from another city. So I’m sort of a virtual outsider everywhere I go.”

Then, in the forthcoming Vikram-starrer Cobra, Baig will play a cold-hearted maverick mathematical genius and guru to Vikram, who believes ‘every element in life has a number except emotions.’. This is his second movie in Tamil (the first being Aruvi).

Baig is enjoying the digital phase. “I am having a ball portraying different characters on the OTT screen. Staging plays at historical venues like Golconda Fort and Chowmahalla Palace has a limited audience but with web series, I am able to reach all around the world,” he signs off.


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 8:29:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/mohammad-ali-baig-on-his-role-in-the-telugu-web-series-in-the-name-of-god/article34946248.ece

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