Mumbai: Meiyang Chang plays a Chinese Army Major in the recently-released OTT series 1962: The War In The Hills, which, given the current Indo-China political equations could seem a challenging deal.
The Mahesh Manjrekar series is inspired by the 1962 Indo-China war, and is a fictional take on how 125 soldiers of the Indian Army were tasked with staving off 3000 soldiers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army. Chang's Major Lin, in his own words, is a "villain" in the story, though one with his own principles.
"The audience has appreciated my portrayal of the 'villain' who, though an enemy, has a definite moral compass. I play Major Lin of China's People's Liberation Army who has immense respect for the brave Indian soldiers standing against him. Many have wished there was more of me on the show and that they fell in love with the bad guy, which is a huge compliment," he said.
Chang revealed that he is a big fan of Abhay Deol, lead star of the show.
"I'm a huge fan of Abhay's work in Dev D, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Shanghai. I remember our first shot against each other. On the surface I was cool, collected and in boss mode, but inside I was like, 'Yay! Abhay!!' I wish we had more scenes together. There was a very well-written interaction between our characters in the original draft that, unfortunately, didn't make it to the final cut. I wish it had stayed, and I look forward to working with him again soon," he said.
The show, which dropped a while back, has seen mixed response from the audience as well as critics.
"You can't please all the people all the time. However, the mixed reviews are a great indicator that the audience is constantly evolving and, having been exposed to the best global content online, they expect high standards from creators in India as well. Our hard work is being appreciated even as viewers are pointing out what could have been done better. This constructive criticism will only help everyone improve," Chang said.
The series gave Chang his first chance to perform action. "1962 is my first project where I got to do an action sequence. A week before it was to be shot, the action director described the scene to me. When we got down to shooting it, there were explosions all around and a hillside on fire littered with dead bodies. It actually felt like a warzone and my body was pumped with adrenaline! It was quite unforgettable, as was the beauty of Ladakh where we shot a chunk of the show," he recalled, about his action experience in the Disney+ Hotstar series.