While we are largely familiar with Mughal emperor Akbar and his successor Salim, little is known about the king’s remaining sons. The web series, Taj: Divided by Blood, puts the spotlight on them as it revisits how the princes turned against each other in their bid to succeed to the throne. While Naseeruddin Shah essays the role of emperor Akbar, Taha Shah Badussha plays his second son Murad. The actor had to pick up a host of skills — from horse-riding to sword fighting — to play the ruthless and power-hungry prince.
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After he joined the cast of the ZEE5 web series last year, Taha was signed on for horse-riding classes by the show’s team. “In addition, I joined another horse-riding school. I would train from 6.30 am to 7 am every day for almost one-and-a-half months,” he recounts. Next came perfecting the action sequences. To portray the role of a warrior-prince with conviction in Ron Scalpello’s directorial venture, Taha was trained in axe- and sword-fighting by Delhi-based coach Aftab. The actor shares, “Besides teaching me how to flip and turn the axe, he trained me in double-sword fighting, which I would practise for an hour or two daily. My journey included blisters, cuts, some blood and a lot of sweat.”