ARTICLES / INTERVIEWS
It's Home, Hubby & Having Babies that Top My List - Shilpa Agnihotri
Though actor Shilpa Saklani is playing the older Ganga in the
20-year-leap of 'Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi', she's unperturbed.
She says, "In fact, I am wearing Indo-western clothes and my hairstyle
is that of an executive. I am doing things that the younger Ganga
Though offers are coming her way, Shilpa as of now is
taking it easy with actor husband Apoorva Agnihotri (Arman Sir in
'Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin'). The couple are deliberately going slow with
their careers. "We are just chilling out. We've been sleeping and
getting up at leisure. We also enjoy watching films and having coffee
with friends," says a content Shilpa.
Quiz her on how different
life has been after marriage and she says, "It's been two years and the
best thing is that life hasn't changed at all. Apoorva is a liberal
husband and so there has been no effort on my part to change."
she adds, "Contrary to my sari-clad serious image, I am boisterous and
expressive with my feelings. I guess that irritates him a bit!"
Interestingly it's also her warmth that she says appeals to her husband.
Apoorva is concerned, Shilpa admires his patience. She is candid about
his flipside too. "He is very moody and switches from one mood to
another," states the wife.
Where sharing screen space with him is
concerned, Shilpa, who appeared with him in 'Jassi' and 'Nach Baliye',
wouldn't miss an opportunity. "I have been his fan. He's truly one of
the finest looking men who's also brilliant at his job. I enjoy working
with him the most."
Quiz Shilpa on whether she's ambitious about
her career and she surpriseswith her answer. "Yes I am ambitious about
having a good marriage and a happy family life. I'd love to have kids
after a year or so. Career has always been secondary to me," says
Shilpa unpretentiously. She adds, "I have been lucky that I am not
pressured to get that extra buck home. But I work so that I can
contribute to the household in my way. We believe in easing out things
for each other." She adds,"Marriage is a great institution, provided
you get the right man. And having kids is the most beautiful thing."
We'll Plan a Baby But Only After Kajaal - Apoorva Agnihotri
ARMAAN SURI'S SHADOW FROM JASSI JAISI KOI NAHIN IS STILL CONFRONTING
APOORVA AGNIHOTRI WHO'S ESSAYING A SIMILAR CHARACTER IN SONY'S NEW
BABY, KAAJJAL. HOWEVER, THE ACTOR DOESN'T MIND GETTING TYPECAST AND
CLAIMS THAT THIS IS THE NICHE HE'S CARVED FOR HIMSELF ON THE SMALL
HE SHARED SPACE ON THE SILVER SCREEN WITH SHAH RUKH KHAN IN PARDES
BUT FAILED TO RECREATE THE SAME MAGIC IN ANY OF HIS OTHER FILMS. THEN,
LIFE FOR APOORVA UNDERWENT A PHENOMENAL CHANGE WHEN HE BEAMED INTO OUR
DRAWING ROOMS AS THE SNOOTY BUT SMASHING ARMAAN SURI IN SONY'S JASSI'
HOWEVER, THE SNOB APPEAL SEEMS TO HAVE TRAPPED THE ACTOR IN AN IMAGE OF
HIS OWN MAKING.
ST: Is Apoorva slowly getting typecast as the quintessential angry young man of the small screen?
AA: I don't mind being typecast. You need to create a niche. At the
end of the day, it's the success of the product that matters. If the
audience likes that image and the product is good, then one's market
price goes up. All in all, on a platform like television, one is not
given so many opportunities. Television is a monotonous medium. All
characters, more or less, look the same. You can't do an Omkara and a
DDLJ over here. I feel I've created my niche and I am content playing
these characters. My first priority remains the script and then comes
the money factor while choosing roles. I can't be shortsighted to only
think about money while overlooking the script.
ST: Don't you feel that after Pardes, it was television that gave your sagging career a new lease of life?
AA: Yes, in Pardes, people liked my character, which had shades of
grey. After that, I made a wrong choice of films and I would partly
blame it on destiny too. In most of my films, I was not playing the
lead. Maybe the audience wanted me to play the main protagonist and not
the side character. Television helped me establish myself as an actor.
I got meaty roles like Armaan Suri and Dev Pratap Singh. They helped me
to stay on my toes and made me all the more spontaneous. I am a true
Sagittarius and I take things as they come.
ST: Jassi' soared up Apoorva's popularity to a new level and his
slickly etched character became one of the most memorable and admired
ones on the small screen.
AA: Yes, Jassi' was great fun. Initially there was verve and
spontaneity in all of us on the sets. Later on there was a perceptible
stillness. We were working round the clock and eventually got fatigued.
Understandably, that fatigue was visible on-screen too.
ST: But Armaan Suri still became one of the most loved characters.
AA: Each character had become so real to life and everybody
identified with each of us; even Nandu's portrayal was received very
well. The USP of the soap was the fact that every character was very
well etched out. In fact, when I went to Canada for my honeymoon with
Shilpa, so many people told us that they loved the serial and all the
characters. When I had signed the serial initially, I had mixed
feelings. I thought maybe I was taking a risk. But I knew that either
it would hit the bull's eye or it would be a disaster.
ST: How was your experience of Nach Baliye where you paired up with wife Shilpa Saklani?
AA: For me, Nach Baliye was a scary experience. I am very shy and an
introvert. Leave aside dancing; even talking to a stranger gives me
butterflies in my belly. But Shilpa is just the opposite. She is very
outgoing and a total extrovert. We worked very hard though we couldn't
rehearse much because of our tight shooting schedules. It was a great
learning experience for me as I shed all my inhibitions and now I can
do a better job of dancing.
ST: When the awesome twosome was voted out, were there any hard feelings?
AA: (He gets poignant at this one) Parmeet (Sethi) had said a very
beautiful thing, 'Out of ten couples, only one would win.' I was
mentally prepared for the worst though Shilpa wasn't. She had tears in
ST: What is your role in Sony's new show, Kaajjal?
AA: Armaan's character was more boisterous and larger-than-life.
While the character of Dev Pratap Singh is more real and he is someone
who has few emotions. But we are trying to make it different from my
earlier role. I am an instinctive guy and the role was narrated to me
with a lot of passion. I was sure that the results would be positive.
ST: If Apoorva made his mark as Armaan, then wife Shilpa became a
household name as Ganga in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Has marriage
changed him as a person?
AA: Before meeting Shilpa, I used to be restless. However, I have
become very patient now. The presence of a woman in your life makes you
flexible and stable. Both of us are in the same industry and doing well
and there been no ego clashes. Nothing like that has happened. And if
something happens then I just put my head down and listen.
ST: It is also said that being an actor's wife is a difficult thing to be in the world, so how has he tamed Shilpa?
AA: We trust each other completely. It only takes a few minutes to
break the trust. There hasn't been any kind of misunderstanding. My
popularity is there today but tomorrow, I might lose it. But Shilpa is
one factor that'll be constantly with me, throughout my life, come what
ST: Does that mean his Casanova image has gone for a toss?
AA: (He laughs) well! I'll smile if someone calls me a Casanova
on-screen, but certainly not off-screen. Girls make passes but I take
them with a pinch of salt. Of course, I don't encourage all that. I am
so shy that I can't even see girls eye-to-eye. Till now, I have never
expressed my feelings to any girl. I don't know how I did that with
ST: What about having a child in his family?
AA: We'll plan a baby but only after Kaajjal.Stop laughing, damn it! - Apoorva Agnihotri
Apoorva Agnihotri had to lift and twirl Surveen Chawla, who weighs
56 kgs, 15 times for a romantic scene. Surveen goofed up every take by
laughingRecently Apoorva Agnihotri found out that shooting a
romantic scene is back-breaking job. The actor had to lift and twirl
his heroine, Surveen Chawla, who weighs 56 kgs, for as many as 15
retakes while shooting a romantic rain sequence for Kaajjal Sabbki
The actor was especially miffed because
Surveen kept goofing up take after take, simply by laughing mid-shot
when she was required to be intensely romantic. No skin off her back,
we guess, since it was Apurva who had to do all the heaving and
A source in the production house said, "It was a
romantic scene where both of them were supposed to shoot in the rain.
They were completely drenched and since the shot just wasn't getting
okayed, Apurva had to lift Surveen up several times. Anyway, Apoorva
was not in a good mood that day. The scene required some intense
moments between them, yet Surveen continued to laugh all through. This
really got the poor chap irritated."
When contacted, Surveen
said, "Yes, Apoorva was a bit irritated as he had to lift me up 15
times! No doubt he had a really tough time lifting me up, as I weigh
not less than 56 kilos. What's more, the rather long scene had to be
shot from various angles, so it took all the more long to get it
Was Apoorva angry? "He was not furious, or anything,
but yes, he did get a little irritated because he had to lift me up
several times and he was tired. I am always at ease while shooting. I
enjoy myself and laugh a lot on the sets," she replied. Obviously,
Apoorva Agnihotri didn't share the joke with her this time.
The actor was not available for comment.Never At Home - Shilpa & Apoorva
(Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin's Armaan) and wife Shilpa Saklani
(Kkusum, and Ganga of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi) are
never at home.
"We are out for most of the day,
shooting ' it's only late at night or early morning that you
will find us in
the house," says Shilpa.
It is post 10 pm when we
catch up with them. As usual, Shilpa does all the talking,
while Apoorva answers in monosyllables, sometimes completes a
line, or simply smiles. He prefers being reticent, "as there
much to say anyway."
Moved in 8
Their home in a Lokhandwala
highrise is simple. "We shifted here eight months ago from
Yari Road, and we have done whatever we could," says Shilpa.
"There is not much time to actually go shopping for the
house. That's Shilpa's territory anyway," says Apoorva. "The
only stuff that I actually bought was a wall clock which I
picked up at a lifestyle store. I liked it, I picked it up,"
"At the moment we have done up the living
room, for the rest ' the kitchen and bedroom ' we are taking
our time. We are in no hurry," adds Shilpa, who is partial
towards glass. "I don't like bulky wooden pieces," she
The living room has a bright
yellow dining table with matching yellow chairs, while the
sofas are in lime green. There are knick-knacks picked up from
here and there, besides two orange beans bags placed near the
"This is our favourite corner. "Both us
sitting on the bean bags survey the entire scene outside."
Their house is on the 20th floor, so there is a good view of
Lokhandwala and beyond.
Acting out roles
work front, Apoorva has exclusively acted in Jassi for two
years. "There is no other acting offer on the small or big
screen that has excited or tempted me. I am happy being
Jassi's Armaan," he says. He prefers the Jassi of the initial
days ' the "real" McCoy, as she was at Gulmohar House.
Shilpa laughingly says she is "chakki pissaoing" with
Kkusum and Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. The couple will be
seen together in the soon-to-be-launched Star One show on
telly husband-wife pairs.
Run Away Groom Apoorva Agnihotri on wanting a makeover, getting married to Jassi and being the sidekick.
So are you and Jassi finally getting married?
already been married some three or four times in our dream sequences.
But I'm told it will soon happen for real. (Catch the wedding on August
Are you still under an exclusive contract with Sony?Is Jassi... going the melodramatic way because of falling TRPs?
No that was till last year. I'm free to take on other projects.
difficult to sustain something that's been consistently different. For
two years, we managed to stay ahead and people imitated our work. Also,
audiences are easily bored'gimmicks like song and dance sequences keep
Are you happy with the way Armaan Suri's character has shaped up?
no room for creativity in a daily soap. Unless the plot's going haywire
I try not to interfere. I butted in when my character was becoming too
negative. Anyway, ten years down the line, viewers will only vaguely
remember who Jassi and Armaan were.
Doesn't it get lonely these days? Most scenes are romantic moments between you and Jassi?
definitely miss the old office gang and hope they manage to weave them
back into the story. Parmeet Sethi's one of the finest comic actors
I've seen. And these days Vikas Bhalla and I have really bonded.
Were you ever threatened by Purab's (Samir Soni) popularity?
one person can carry a show on their shoulders. Plus, I wasn't
intimidated while shooting with Shah Rukh Khan in Pardes. This was a
piece of cake.
Did you ever consider quitting?
under no illusions. The show is called Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin not Armaan
Jaisa Koi Nahin. I have no hassles with doing television. I know tracks
change and the spotlight can't be on me all the time.
How would you have wanted Armaan Suri to turn out?
I took the role, he was a business tycoon who'd go to any length for
his company. Today Armaan is someone who's learnt from his mistakes.
Sometimes I feel the character's achieved its purpose, at other times,
What did you think of the Jassi makeover? Would you undergo one?
loved the new look. On the sets we welcomed the change as we were tired
of the glasses and braces. I did try long hair for a while but everyone
hated it. Now friends are saying I should give it another shot.
If you had to rewrite Jassi..., what would be different?Sweet on Armaan
I'd definitely have a scene showing Raj crying. I'd also turn Maddy into someone serious who Jassi can confide in.
spent his early years in Kanpur and shifted to Mumbai in 1985. He was
keen to become a pilot -- "I flew for around 15-20 hours" -- but destiny
steered his course toward films when Subhash Ghai signed him for a
pivotal role in Pardes.
as Armaan Sir, Apurva is married to Shilpa Saklani who is better known
as Ganga. After going through a Tom and Jerry chase, we finally pinned
Apurva at Chaithrath studios, Powai.
In between mouthfuls of
sinfully rich kheer brought by Rakshanda, he spoke about food. We had
threatened to bop him on his head for giving us a run around but he was
Apurva's thought for food
I normally have nine am shifts, so twice or thrice a week, I wake up early and go for a workout.
The first thing I have
in the morning is a glass of milk shake -- either a protein shake or a
mango shake. I have tea only when I am shooting. At home I don't have
I go to a gym opposite Fame Adlabs for
my workout. When I am working out, I don't speak to anybody; I am
totally focused for half an hour. Later, I shower and head straight for
If I have a day off, my mother prepares aloo ka parathas for me. Otherwise, it's eggs, bread and butter.
There was a time
when I was gunning for those six-pack abs. People remarked that I had
lost a lot of weight but I was feeling very fit. I was really in great
shape, but then, I guess it took its
toll on my face -- it began looking too slim. Now I don't care because I
have realised that in television your physique hardly makes any
difference, because you are dressed from head to toe most of the times.
In the studio, I prefer
my tea with adrak. Since it's not always possible for them to organise
that, I have started carrying elaichi from home, which I ask them to
add to my tea.
Recently, Shilpa and I hired a
cook and now carry our tiffins to the studio. I don't like to trouble
my mother because she has done enough for us. My tiffin is very simple.
It usually comprises paneer, rice, roti and a vegetable/dal.
I like bhindi; I dislike karela. Tadka yellow dal is my favourite.
I was a non-vegetarian
previously but now I eat only eggs. My mom is a pure vegetarian. She
asked to stop eating non-vegetarian. It's the least I could do for her.
When I am shooting, I
keep sipping tea or coffee. By the end of the day, I have drunk 7-8 cups of tea -- that's quite a lot.
I am very fond of
meetha; I like to have it with my lunch and not after it. I like kheer.
My mother-in-law makes amazing sugar-free rasmalai. I am from Kanpur,
so I like imarti jalebi and ladoos. I like pineapple pastries any time,
My poison is Baccardi.
is an awesome cook and I have decided that if in my life I ever open a
restaurant, I will make her the cook-in-charge. She makes excellent
cheesy Italian fare.
By evening, I am ravenous.
I like to have a cup of tea and omelette sandwiches. Holiday Inn's
masala omelette sandwiches are a class apart.
I like to have an early dinner, but of late, I have been undisciplined.
At times I skip dinner, altogether. I have a protein chocolate bar instead. I have soup and
boiled vegetables for dinner on other days.
cheese so I like Italian food, especially pastas. After marriage, we
have been going out at least twice a week. Our current haunts are
Kareem's and The Marriott.
For me dal, chawal and roti is the ultimate meal.
we used to live in a joint family. But our food habits have remained
the same even in Canada, my cousins still prepare food as the family
did when we lived together.
On a hot summer's day, I like to have a chilled glass of beer.
On a rainy day in Mumbai, I like to have omelettes. I am an egg freak.
On a cold winter's day, I would like to cruise on a bike at 100 mph.
I think I resemble a lauki, because I am lanky.
I have never entered the kitchen but I can whip up a mean omelette.
spice is elaichi.
My favourite appliance is the mixer.
An admission: I like baked vegetables with puris, followed by sugar-free rasmalai at my mother-in-law's.
Shilpa and I both love paneer bhurji. She can cook good non- vegetarian food even though she doesn't eat it herself.
When we were dating,
every evening was a romantic evening. Shilpa and I are very fond of
watching movies. So a romantic evening would include a visit to the
theatre. If the film is boring, we end up binging on snacks.
Apurva's baked veggie
(Courtesy mother-in-law Priya Saklani)
1 bunch spinach (wash, boil, drain the water and grind)
2 tomatoes (slice into roundels)
1 packet mushrooms (dice into 4 pieces)
250 gm paneer (cut lengthwise)
150 gm processed cheese (grated)
3 tbsp butter
For white sauce:
In a non stick pan, heat about one tbsp
of butter, add the spinach paste and saute for 2-3 minutes till it is
dry. Keep aside. In the same pan, add some more butter and saute the
diced mushrooms till done. Keep aside.
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp maida
2 cups milk
1 tsp tomato sauce or puree
50 gm grated cheese
Salt to taste
Freshly grounded pepper
To make the white
sauce, heat the butter in a non stick pan, add the flour and saute on a
low flame till golden. Slowly add the milk, stirring simultaneously.
Add the grated cheese and the tomato sauce or puree to give it a tangy
taste. Finally, add salt and freshly ground pepper.
the dish, grease a transparent baking dish. Arrange the sauted
spinach. Top it with slices of paneer. Next, add a layer of tomato
slices. Mix the saut'ed mushrooms in the white sauce.
over the paneer and tomato slices. Garnish with grated cheese.
Microwave on high for five minutes and then grill for another five
minute.Maa Tujhe Salaam - Apoorva AgnihotriApoorva Agnihotri says he is really an obedient son
In real life too, I'm an
obedient son. Whatever my mom (Radha Agnihotri) says is final. She has
been a great support to my sister and me, especially after my father
(Gyandev Agnihotri, a well known writer) expired.
After he passed away and his
body was still in the house, the first thing she told me was, "You
don't have to worry that dad's gone. I'm still here and from now on I'm
going to be your mom and dad."
I think that was a very brave
thing to say. More than anything else, it's essential to have the
emotional support of an elder at home. You need someone you can turn to
for advice and for help in making decisions. Someone who can tell you
what's right and wrong and whether you're on the right path.
Mom supported me a lot
financially when I took to flying. I wanted to make a career of it at
one point. You need to complete 250 hours to turn professional but I
quit after only 15-20 hours. At Rs 25,000 per hour, that's quite some
money down the drain.
Before Pardes, I was readying
myself for a break. I enrolled in Kishore Namit's acting academy. He
really helped me. He didn't want to take money from me because he used
to know my father. God and my mother's blessings were with me. Mom
always maintained that no matter what the outcome, you have to go out
and try your best. That the pluses and negatives shouldn't bias you and
there is no reason why you shouldn't be successful.
Poonam Sinha, Shatrughan
Sinha's wife, was instrumental in my bagging Pardes. She's a family
friend and organised a meeting for me with Subhash Ghai. When I met him
while he was shooting Trimurti, he asked me to meet him after three
months. I thought that must be his polite way of rejecting me. But
after exactly three months, I got a call from his office.
I was thrilled when I got paid
for Pardes. Subhashji asked me what I'd do with the money and I told
him I'd give it to my mom. And I did. We shot in Vancouver for the
movie and that was my first trip abroad.
Pyar Koi Khel Nahin, Kasoor
and Hum Ho Gaye Aapke followed Pardes and I had complete support from
my mom throughout. In fact, she even trusted and supported my decision
to marry Shilpa.
I Have No Reason To Lose My Sleep Over Such Trivial Issues - Apoorva Agnihotri
Yesterday, he was called a late starter and a
mediocre actor. Some even sniggered at his failed attempt to make it on
the big screen. Indeed, Samir Soni has seen the tough side of life and
has come up the hard way. Today, the scenario is different. Purab aka
Samir is the most sought-after actor on TV. Thanks to his popularity in
Sony's trump card Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin, the actor has become hot
property. And that's become a major cause of concern for JJKN's
original hero, Apoorva Agnihotri, who's fretting and fuming, and not
without reason. Now matters are believe to have reached such a tempo
that both actors just cannot see eye-to-eye anymore.
Normally, being applauded for their work puts and
actor in the top slot. But in Samir's case, it worked adversely. JJKN,
the story of plain Jane-turned-glam doll, was originally centered
around its main protagonist Jassi nee Mona Singh and her prince
charming played by Apoorva. The two characters became a huge hit, so
much so that the other actors who were playing character roles in the
show felt that they were getting a raw deal. A bunch of them even
threatened to walk out as their track were going nowhere. Despite the
inner politics and the favoritism that was played by the channel and
the producers, JJKN ruled the roost and still enjoys the highest TRPs.
Everything was sailing smoothly till Samir stepped
in to play a cameo role in the show. Special appearances and cameo's
have been a regular feature in JJKN> in the past, actors like
Mandira Bedi, Gauri Pradhan, Neena Gupta, Malaika Arora, Divya Dutta
and many others have enacted small roels in it. But it was Purab's
character that became an instant rage. After essaying the role of a
tycoon, Samir's popularity was suddenly rocking.
Samir's earnest performance started drawing more
attention than the arrogant Armaan Sir. As a result of which, everyone
including Apoorva, started getting insescure about Samir's presence.
It's believed that at one time, it was Soni's unprecedented popularity
that caused his abrupt exit from the serial. Quiz Samir about this and
he shrugs it off, "I'm clueless about this. Actually, my contract with
Sony had expired and I had blocked my dates for another show that I was
doing at that time. Yes, I too had heard stories but my schedule was so
tight that there was just no time to find out what is true and what
isn't. honestly, I don't even wish to know. I admit that my exit from
JJKN was very abrupt. But,it was purely due to time constraints.
We needed time to plot my exit from the show and I could given them
only a couple of days. Everything was so hush-hush that it wasn't
possible to explain and incorporate the exit portion."
Talking about contract, did he feel bitter when Sony
did not renew his contract? "Not at all! It's just that at that point,
the producers and Sony didn't think that I was required in JJKN and
hence we parted ways. It was done amicably." That's Samir Soni at his
The actor might deny having any problem with the
JJKN troupe but the story doesn't end there; it has another angle to
it. It was rumored that last year, during the Singapore schedule of the
serial, Samir and Mona Singh had got really cozy. What one though would
not be more out to be a full-fledged affair. Obviously, makers Tony and
Deeya Singh and Sony did not approve this development. They panicked
when JJKN, their investment and a closely guarded secret, started
getting closer to this good-looking man. They just couldn't afford to
let their trump card have a rollicking time with the actor. It's said
that the decision to put brakes on this relationship was made overnight
and the only way of dong it was separating the two. Soni has a hearty
laugh on this piece of information. "I was never involved with Mona
Singh," he rebuffs the allegation. "The rumor doing the rounds is
certainly figment of somebody's wicked mind. If I were seeing her, I'd
admit it. And where is it written that an actor can fall in love only
with his producers' consent? I was most certainly not thrown out of
JJKN. And if what you are alleging is true then how come I'm back on
Well, this isn't the first time that an actor has
made a re-entry on a show. There have been a lot of actors who have got
back to doing their shows after long gaps. But what really sets Samir
apart from then is the number factor. This is not the first or the
second but the fourth time that he has been brought back in JJKN.
Reason? There are many but don't expect Samir to reveal more than what
But let's come to the most interesting part :
Samir's rivalry with Apoorva. In fact, it's believed that the two are
always vying for the bigger screen time. The unit members have
confirmed that there was a lot of stress between the two before Samir
opted out. "I don't mind healthy comptt. If you are competing with
someone, you tend to be better than the best. Apoorva is a fine actor.
But I don't have to compete with him to prove how good an actor I am. I
just believe in doing my job, that's about it!" agreed but Apoorva's
grudge is that he was signed to play the solo lead in JJKN and was even
doing fine till Samir stepped in. the final nail in the coffin was
Apoorva's diminishing and Samir's increasing fan following. Says Samir,
"To begin with, I was really not aware of him feeling insecure about my
presence in JJKN, till the media started hyping it. And if at all
Apoorva is getting insecure about me, I think it's absolutely
understandable. Poor guy, he was supposed to be the hero of the show
and one fine day, I step in. I'm sure it must've driven him crazy. But
that is very normal. I would have felt the same had I been in his
When we spoke to Apoorva about his cut throat
competition with Samir Soni, the guy sounded completely unfazed. "Look,
everyone knows that JJKN is the story about Armaan Suri and Jasmeet
Walia. A rich, spoilt and selfish businessman, who uses Jassi for his
own good and eventually, falls in love withehr. There are other
important characters in the serial as well but doesn't mean that I'll
start feeling threatened by their presence." About Soni he says,
"Samir's character is an integral part of the story. His role was
supposed to be a cameo. Bu the extension happened when the script
demanded it. In a daily soap, changes happen everyday." Ask him if he
is feeling uncomfortable with Soni's second coming (or is it the
fourth) in the serial and the hunk laughs. "There is no question about
Is he aware of the poll that was conducted by a TV
channel about who should be Jassi's knight in shinning armor? "No," he
smiles. Obviously Agnihotri chooses not to remember it because the
maximum number of people voted in Purab's (Samir) favor. In fact, that
was one of the reasons why Samir was brought back on the show. Does
this defeat dampen Apoorva's spirits? 'Not at all,' he says. "I know
I'm doing a good job, so I have no reason to lose my sleep over such
With this growing tension and the mounting pressure,
who will be the one to win Jassi and the hearts of the audience? Armaan
or Purab? We don't know but we do is that both the actors are busy to
battling it out. No it isn't the personal battle we are referring to
but it's their on-screen war that's keeping us hooked on to TV. Right
guys? Transcript of LIVE CHAT with TV actor, Shilpa Agnihotri
"I'm not tired of Ganga's 'behenji' look, but it was a relief to act recently in
another serial where I got to wear western
Hey Ganga, err
Shilpa! Good to see you here! Is it true that you wouldn't mind showing some
skin on screen, or wouldn't mind
Well, I do mind showing skin because TV is a medium
enters each home every night, catering to all kind of audiences. Thus, it's not
important for those people to see skin when they actually want to have some
entertainment (by way of good stories etc)
Hey Shilpa, I
love your acting and you're a wonderful actress. And congrats to on your wedding
to Apoorva.. How is married life? And how did it start if you don't mind telling
Thank you so much to begin with. Married life rocks! I
been as happy. I used to only hear that marriage changes things for people and I
am experiencing the very same now. As far as how I met him is concerned, it is a
long fairy tale. So, cutting it short, we were destined to be together so here
we are together. We actually met through a friend who tried to play cupid. But
the sight of him used to really irritate me.
When is your
Hi Shilpa! How
are you? Tell us, how did you get your break in
Well I was actually doing a serial at that point of time when Ektaa saw some of
my work. So when they were casting for KSBKBT, they called me for the same. And
here I am, playing 'Ganga' for the last two-and-half
Are you as simpler as you seems to be on
Well I don't know how one would define simplicity. But if it
as a girl in Sarees and Salwaar Kameeze then I am not simple because in real
life I am an extremely extroverted with a very modern approach towards life who
does not restrict herself in being in Indian clothes all the time. However, I am
yet a very, very grounded and a family oriented person who believes that my life
starts with my family and husband and ends with
Define your hubby
'Armaan', I mean Apoorva Agnihotri? What do you
him in real
life? 'Armaan' or Apoorva? Do you watch his serial
A great human being, a great husband, a great son and a fabulous companion. As
far as what I call him in real life, I neither call him Armaan nor Apoorva. I
call him 'Chonu.' Well, if I am at home I try and catch up on
You played small
roles in films like
Tum Jaano Naa Hum
Then, why did you stop trying in
Well, I never wanted to do films but
Tum Jaano Na
by a really close friend of mine who was stuck in a crisis at that point of time
and didn't have an actor to play that particular part then. So the least that I
could do as friend is act in his
Will you be
ready to play a mother of 25 years old son, if required by your serial maker?
Many young girls like Shweta Kwatra, Sakshi and even Smriti Irani have done
that? How would you feel in that
Well, I will have absolutely no problem about doing it as well. Till the time
my role is well justified and till I know that as an actor I am benefiting from
If you were not
actress, what would be doing ? Also, are you doing any movies
Well, if I was not an actress I would be definitely married like I am now. May
be not to an actor as I am now. And probably figuring out things (about work) at
that point of time. I am not keen on doing
Is it something like
Yeah, you got it
If you expose on
the big screen, wouldn't hurt your Seedhi-Saadhi bahu image? Also, are you fed
up with a 'behenji' look and that's why you want to turn
Yeah, I am sure it would. But like I said I do not want to do films. So I am not
even thinking of the same. Well I am not sick and tired of the 'behenji' look
because I had very recently had done a serial called
in which I was not a 'behenji' but a girl who was playing a 24th century girl,
clad in western clothes and being extremely western in her approach. And that
was definitely a relief from, like you say, the 'behenji'
Why does an
actress feel the need to show skin in
Well, it's probably the demand of their profession and I guess once you choose
to do something you must as an adult give it your 100 percent. I am certain that
films may require exposure but they also pass on great messages and entertain
Saas Bhi Khabhi Bahu
Well, chat up with Ektaa Kapoor for the
favourite TV star? And which is your favourite
also your favourite costar? How do people address you? Do they call you 'Ganga'
or by your real name
Apoorva Agnihotri (favourite TV star),
serial). Smriti Irani (Favourite costar). People called me mostly 'Ganga', which
Hi Shilpa? How
do you maintain yourself so well? Are you a vegetarian? If not, what's your
favourite non vegetarian
Well, I am a hardcore non vegetarian. My favourite (food) is butter chicken or
anything in Chinese. And thank you so much for the lovely compliment! But I do
wonder how you get to know of my figure through that lousy saree that we wear.
And as far as how I maintain myself, I am probably just blessed. I am sure I am
not going to be blessed for too long be for the way I eat, I see my self putting
on a lot of weight in the
'Chonu' for you . What are you for
Well, at times 'baby', at times 'billie' (cat). I could go on and on and
embarrass him further. So we should just stop at that
Do you like to
be sexy as some actress like Mallika Sherawat, Neha Dhupia are in movies, as you
said that you wanna to be the 24th century
Well, no never because I guess I will never be able to be as bold as them. Hats
off to them for what they are dong. I am most happy with what I am doing (right
How busy are you
and Apoorva in your daily
Extremely! We both shoot for about 12 - 14 hours each day but we till try to
make time for each
To everybody who made the effort to log in and chat up with me, thank you so
much and god bless! Love, Shilpa.
Transcript of LIVE CHAT with TV actor, Apoorva Agnihotri
"Personally, I feel
looking good is not the end of the road. However, with regard to Jassi's
makeover I'd say that my job as an actor is to react only, not think about
Jena > Hi, despite fantastic debut in films with Pardes , why did
you not make it big as a film actor? And why did you do insignificant roles in
films after that one film?
Apoorva Agnihotri > The industry is quite a
strange place. It likes to typecast actors. And that's what happened to me. The
kind of roles I was getting after Pardes was more on the same lines (like Pardes
). I said no to a lot of films. And the films that I chose didn't do well. I did
the roles (in later films) for money and creative satisfaction.
How do your co-stars especially Mona(Jassi) and Rakshanda (Mallika)
Maninee(Pari)react to your ever stunning looks? What has been their compliment?
I really wonder how do they work with you?? Hum to Behosh Ho Jate (I would
Apoorva Agnihotri > > Thanks a lot.
Apurva, you seem to be enjoying playing "Armaan Suri" (your character in Jassi
Jaisi Koi Nahin . This role has many shades. The character is manipulative,
charming, loving, adorable. How did you perform all this with
Apoorva Agnihotri > I think the perfection is yet to happen.
All I am doing is to just work hard because my aim is to go above the lines that
Littleheart > Who is your favourite co star?
Agnihotri > My fav co-star is Parmeet Sethi ( Raj) in Jassi Jaise
Littleheart > How come you are so expressive with your eyes? You
do it as though you know what heart break is. Any experience?
Agnihotri > It's because I like to mean what I say and what I do. I think we
all go through heartbreaks in someway or the other.
Angb > Do you
prefer to work in movies or a serial like Jassi ?
Apoorva Agnihotri > I do
anything which excites me. Right now it's Jassi.
Diva1 > Hi Apoorva!
How did the glitz and glamour of showbiz allure this Kanpurian (Kanpur) from
being an economics student at Bhawan College to aspiring to be a pilot and
finally to become an actor?
Apoorva Agnihotri > I think it's destiny.
There's only one word for it and nothing else.
Pagli > Hi this is
Habi. Is Jassi going to marry you or Purab? Are they gonna change the original
Apoorva Agnihotri > I have no idea. Watch it, you will know in due
Unik > What drives you?
Apoorva Agnihotri > Motivation
Kamal > Honestly Apoorva. Would you have fallen in love with
someone like Jassi in real life? What do you look for in women?
Agnihotri > Yes, I would have honestly. Her heart should be of gold. She
should be a nice person. The outer beauty vanishes. It's the inner one that
remains with you forever.
Nila > Was it a conscious decision on your
part to join television or did everything just happen by chance?
Agnihotri > Everything just happened by chance for me. Tony and Diya Singh
called me and said that they were coming up with something path breaking. When I
heard the script, I loved it and didn't have second thoughts about it. I said
yes to be apart of the project.
Diva1 > In an interview, your wife
Shilpa confessed that your very first sight irritated her while you went ga-ga
over her. What was on your mind when you first met her through
Apoorva Agnihotri > It was just marriage on my mind, as I
wanted to marry her.
Pagli > I hate to just think Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi
will end some time in the future. Please do more TV roles and show us your
talent. We'll miss seeing you on TV. It's a request.
Apoorva Agnihotri >
Yes, I will.
Diva1 > Why is Apoorva visible only in Jassi Jasisi ...
and not in some advertisements and music videos? Do you think it is defaming for
a Bollywood actor like you who has been a part of this industry for years to
explore more opportunity on TV?
Apoorva Agnihotri > It's because I am too
lazy to meet people but now since you are telling, I will do something about
Ultimateapoorva > Also, how is your relationship with Mona? Are
you guys good buddies?
Apoorva Agnihotri > Absolutely! We are great
buddies. I always feel that something magical happens when we perform
Rakhi > What would you say was the turning point in your
Apoorva Agnihotri > I think the turning point is yet to
Lili > Do you come from a film background?
> Yes, my father was a film writer (late Mr. Gyandev Agnihotri) he wrote
films like Mr. Natwarlal, Do Aur Do Paanch, Yaraana, Beta
Littleheart > Why can't you forget Jassi and love me?
Agnihotri > That's because I get to see Jassi and I don't get to see you
hema_kini > You have a beautiful wife in Shilpa!
I am so happy for you! Is she a good cook? I know you are a vegetarian so what
is your favourite dish?
Apoorva Agnihotri > Yes, she is a really good
cook. I like Kaali Daal ?that's my favourite.
Snehasik > Was it your
aim from childhood to become an actor or it just happened?
> My aim was to become a pilot, but I guess it's destiny.
> Are you planning to do more films?
Apoorva Agnihotri > I have no
idea. It all depends on how good the offers are.
Barkhain > What do
you like to do besides acting?
Apoorva Agnihotri > I like to watch
Clod > Besides your wife, who would be your dream
Apoorva Agnihotri > Salma Hayek.
Motu > Apoorva are you
interested in directing a film in the future?
Apoorva Agnihotri > I just
love this person for the question. Yes, definitely I want to direct a
Ultimateapoorva > What do you see yourself doing in 20 years and
how will that AA be different?
Apoorva Agnihotri > As I said earlier, I am
going to be making movies for sure.
Hema_kini > What do you have to
say about your popularity, the mass hysteria. Isn't it nice or does it bother
Apoorva Agnihotri > It doesn't bother me at all. I like
Priya > Hi Apoorva. How and when did you meet Shilpa? Was it love
at first sight?
Apoorva Agnihotri > From my side it was love at first
sight. And it took her some time. We got to know each other through Rakshanda
Khan. We first met at a coffee shop in Mumbai.
Shilps > For me and my
friends Apoorva Jaisaa Armaan Koi Nahin (there's none like you)! You have
excelled in portraying in every emotion of "Armaan Suri." You turned him into a
real-life persona from a reel-life one? Now please tell me - where can I find
him?(he!he!). Jokes apart, how did you do that? What were your magic words? Do
you think it's an actor that makes a character king size or vice
Apoorva Agnihotri > I think more than the actor the credit should
be given to the writer who has created such fabulous characters. I think it's
the character, which becomes a part of everyone. I think it's sheer hard work,
which has got me here today.
Armaan4jassi > Will "Armaan" miss his old
Jassi when he sees the new one?
Apoorva Agnihotri > Yes, he will miss his
Priya > Hi Apoorva. I am Priya. Which was the most
memorable day of your life?
Apoorva Agnihotri > I think it's when I signed
up for Pardes . That was my most memorable day.
Dreamz > What do you
think about this makeover business in JJKN and what's your take on beauty? Does
one really need outer beauty to feel confident and get her man of dreams and
receive that respect from the world?
Apoorva Agnihotri > I can speak for
my self. I think that the outer beauty is something but not everything. Looking
good is not the end of the road. It doesn't mean you have got it all. At the end
of the day the heart is what matters. I think my job is to react only on screen,
not to think about it.
Sign Off Message > Love me forever, I will love
you back. Love, Apoorva.
NIGHTOUT with Apurva Agnihotri
Just say Yes Sir!
Apurva Agnihotri, aka Armaan Sir, feels
Jassi should be alone. All her life.
BET you didn't know that Armaan
Sir's special name for Jassi is Jasberry. And that she affectionately calls him
On-screen in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin, Armaan (n'e Apurva
Agnihotri) might come across as a cad who breaks Jassi's heart every day. But in
real life, they're good friends. Every time we do a scene together, something
magical happens. If I had my way, I would work with her for the rest of my life,
And a text message forwarded by the show's
Diya Singh only reaffirms the couple's chemistry. Mona
(Jassi) and Apurva are the Kajol and Shah Rukh of the small screen, conveys
Singh. Agnihotri vows never to delete the message.
Mocha, Juhu, where
we're chatting, is inundated with shouts of Armaan sir. A gaggle of girls hound
the actor for pictures and autographs. Do you really love Jassi?'' 19-year-old
Ashima wants to know. While collegians Shruti and Mehak declare, You have the
best smile on TV. Agnihotri smiles some more, flashing the deep dimple in his
Jassi... has given the 28-year-old actor a fresh lease after
his Bollywood career didn't work despite a dream launch in Subhash Ghai's
Pardes. Now he can't live without Jassi. I've lost count how many times I say
'Jassi' in a day. All my lines begin and end with 'Jassi' and since we do about
10-12 scenes in a day, you can just imagine, he says, biting into a paneer
Though he loves his Casanova character, he swears he's just the
opposite in reality. Contrary to Armaan's indecisive nature, Agnihotri married
actress Shilpa Saklani (Ganga of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi) three months
after co-star Rakshanda Khan introduced them. While it was love at first sight
for him, Shilpa took time to be convinced. My screen image came in the way, he
His wife loves the serial, especially the scenes between Agnihotri
and Parmeet Sethi. Both actors are so attuned to each other's timing, it almost
seems like gay bonding. Agnihotri gives a bark of laughter. I know what you
mean. I love Parmeet. He can chew up anybody in comedy.
Of course, he
can't say the same about his other co-star Samir Soni who apparently left the
serial because of ego clashes with Agnihotri. No way, denies Agnihotri. I really
like Samir. He left for personal reasons, he shrugs, sipping a sugar-free black
His contract ends in June, after which he hopes to sign some more
serials or maybe films, if I get something substantial. For now, he hopes to see
Jassi's much awaited makeover. I'm dying to see her coming down a staircase
looking like a model, he says.
Who does he think Jassi should end up with
Purab, Armaan or Nandu? Jassi should be alone. That's what happens to people who
have such high standards and who are hell-bent on sticking to their principles.
Now that's typical Armaan Sir.
Sexiest babe on TV: My wife
Mona or Rakshanda: Rakshanda, because she changed my life
after introducing me to Shilpa
Best actor on TV: Parmeet Sethi
imagine TV without: My hair gel which I apply quite liberally to keep my floppy
hair in order
One serial you wish you were a part of: None, because after
Jassi.., others are routine fare
We met over coffee - Apoorva Agnihotri
A girl had a crush on me in school. She said she
wanted to borrow my notebooks. That's how we started talking. Then we began
taking the same bus though we stayed in two different corners of the city - just
to talk to each other. At that time, all that matters is that you get to spend
time with the person you like. We were getting closer and continued to take
advantage of every single opportunity to meet or see more of each other. That
was really fun.
Once, we even bunked school and headed straight to a nearby
coffee shop - my first date ever. A couple of friends learned of this and began
passing letters full of shayiri to her on my behalf (they were very naughty, you
see), which she got very upset about. I still wonder what they had written in
those letters that upset her to the extent that she stopped talking to me. I
tried to explain things to her but she just wouldn't budge and refused to listen
to me. And that was it - her father got transferred and she left the school,
never to come back to me.
I think of her every time I think of my school
days. I remember that not only was she intelligent, she also had a lovely smile.
And she was of course, my first date and love.Much About Apoorva Agnihotri
Calling In Life:
Actor. "I'm actually an actor by default. I wanted to be a commercial
pilot and I need 25 flying hours to get a licence. Hopefully I'll be
able to do that one day. Till then, I'm enjoying films."
Jumpstarting Moment: Subhash Ghai's Pardes. "I was deluged with similar roles of the spoilt rich brat after Pardes."Apoorva Live
Current Claim To Fame: As Arman Sood in Sony TV's Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin.
"Arman is suave, stylish, unpredictable and a conniving businessman who
can be charming when he wants to. You don't get to live that kind of a
character on the big screen often. And now that Jassi has been a
TRP-topper we've been proved right in thinking that the 'nice girls
also deserve their fairytale endings' formula works."
Educational Background: Economics graduate from Bhawan's College, Mumbai
"Involves hard work. Working in two continuous shifts (almost 15-16
hours) is tough because you don't even get time to breathe. Doing films
easier in comparison."
Likes To: "Watch
MTV, Channel V and Discovery. I'm not really a soap loving person,
though I've checked out some episodes of Jassi and have liked them."
Looking Forward To: Ahmed Khan's Lakeer, starring Suniel Shetty. "It's a great role."
Sejal: Jassi is well off the ground and doing so
well-it is extremely successful and the popularity is increasing
constantly...how do you feel about it?
Apoorva Agnihotri: Hmm-I obviously feel very very
good about it because it is a very important step for me as an actor. Earlier I
was into films-started off my career with Subhash Ghai-I did a couple of films
and then there was a time when I was not really happy with the way my career was
shaping out-the offers I was getting for films. So this actually was a turning
point in my career and in my life.
Sejal: We love it here-so many people in the
US love it.
Apoorva Agnihotri: (Laughs)
Sejal: Now do you guys have as much fun on the
sets behind the scenes shooting the episodes as we do watching it?
Apoorva Agnihotri:Absolutely, absolutely-we are a
riot together. Whenever you come you must come to our shoot. We are a riot and
even if it is an emotional scene we are laughing-that is the kind of vibes we
share- all of us...me/Parmeet...me/Jassi...Mallika and Pari. We all have loads
of fun on the sets and even when we're not shooting we try and be together-we
kind of miss each other you know when we don't see other for so many days.
Sejal: Speaking of which what is your current
shoot schedule like?
Apoorva Agnihotri: It depends, me and Jassi shoot
for around-Jassi shoots around 27- 28 days a month and I shoot for around 23-24
days a month and the rest of the cast comes for 10 days ya 12 days.
Sejal: Wow so you guys must be really tired by the
end of the month?
Apoorva Agnihotri: Yeah it is tiring but we all
get along so well so that-like we look forward to coming back (laughs).
Sejal: Is our Jassi really like she is on screen
or is she different off screen?
Apoorva Agnihotri: I think she is as great a
person as she is shown on screen.
Sejal: Do you ever find yourself trying to put
Armando's character from BLF (Betty La Fea)into Armaan Suri's shoes to portray
Armaan as such?
Apoorva Agnihotri: (Laughs) No, no-that's a
great...(laughs)-at times I do at times I don't. But I wish I was like him.
Sejal: You are doing a fabulous job-we love
watching you on screen.
Apoorva Agnihotri: Thanks so much.
Sejal: To what extent can you relate to the
character of Armaan Suri-are you a totally different person then him?
Apoorva Agnihotri: I wouldn't say I am a totally
different person-quality of stuff I do on screen not that I would do otherwise
but yes I am close to that kind of a lifestyle-except women.
When it comes to women no-I'm extremely shy around
women. I could never go up to a woman and say 'hi'.
Sejal: You must have so much fun flirting on
Apoorva Agnihotri:Ya-it's fun-things I cannot do
off screen but ya on screen it is fun. But you know it's pretty tough also.
Sejal: Though I am sure there are many but if you
had to choose one scene you had the most fun shooting for in JJKN which one
would it be?
Apoorva Agnihotri:To be honest I love doing my
scenes with Raj and Jassi-everytime I do a scene with them it's a fun scene. It
would be really tough for me to pick one.
Sejal: We had the most fun seeing you in the drag
scenes-you did an excellent job with those.
Apoorva Agnihotri:(Laughs) Thank you so much-but
that wasn't fun for me with the kind of dress I was wearing-the wig-and I was
for 16-18 hours in that dress. So it really wasn't all that
fun for me (laughing).
Sejal: Well if it helps you look good in the pink
Sejal: You made the dress work-it wouldn't have
looked good otherwise-it wouldn't have looked good on Raj-Parmeet.
Apoorva Agnihotri:(Laughs)-Thanks, Thanks...
Sejal: What do you find yourself doing in the
spare time when you are not busy shooting for JJKN? What are your hobbies?
Apoorva Agnihotri:In my free time I love to go
go-carting. When I'm not shooting I like to go out for drives, I like to relax
with my friends.
Sejal: You only get two or three days so there
must be only so much you can do with that.
Apoorva Agnihotri:There is hardly any time-after
ten days when I get off I usually like to lie down-am too tired to do anything
but ya I do like to go out with my friends and go carting and
Sejal: How has your family reacted to the
popularity of Jassi?
Apoorva Agnihotri:My family...it's me and my
sister-my sister is in Canada-obviously very happy and so is my mom. My mom
keeps telling me-she only tells me one thing-there is only
one thing certain in life uncertainty. When you
are very successful and things are working out very well for you don't be too
happy, be happy and even when you are not you should still
be the same. And success shouldn't be taken too
seriously you know because the problem is when it goes you feel really lousy and
then become an emotional wreck. I see a lot of people around me-the frustration
creeps in and then...I'm okay. I don't think about it-I am fine with the way it
is-my head is down either way-success or failure.
Sejal: Which of the two-movies or TV-do you
believe has been more demanding in terms of acting and has asked for more of a
lifestyle adjustment on your part?
Sejal: What can fans expect to see you in next?
Any future plans or other projects you are doing alongside Jassi?
Apoorva Agnihotri:I am doing this film called
'Lakeer'-it is directed by Ahmed Khan- I am doing this film but mainly it is
Jassi right now.
Sejal: With Valentine's Day approaching you know
you had this question coming-we know that Armaan Suri has two important women in
his life Jassi and Mallika-any special someone in your life?
is but I would not want to name her right now.
Sejal: Okay that is understandable. So you still
manage time after having 27 days of shooting of Jassi-wow maybe the character is
rubbing off on you :)
Apoorva Agnihotri:(Laughing) No, no, no
Sejal: You have three women in your life right
now-you have Jassi and Mallika and now you have one more.
Apoorva Agnihotri:Jassi and Mallika I just leave
them behind when the shoot is over- it is the third one I more inclined towards
Sejal: Hmm I am not sure I brought this up before
but I am calling on behalf of a group on Yahoo that is dedicated to Jassi. It
has almost a thousand members-it is active 24/7 and people from all over are
always discussing something about Jassi. Sometimes what Armaan is wearing or
what Armaan said to Jassi or Raj said to Jassi. Everyone loves the show-we
really enjoy it and we think you guys are doing a great job.
Apoorva Agnihotri:Thanks so much for the
encouragement-it is what keeps us going.
Sejal: I would like to thank you once again very
much-I really appreciate your taking out the time.
Apoorva Agnihotri:No, no in fact it was a
pleasure, my pleasure :)Even NASA cannot explain everything - Apoorva
An interview with Apoorva Agnihotri, who plays
the male lead in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin.
You disappeared from the public
radar after Pardes, resurfacing only with Jassi. Where have you been?
After Pardes, I was in Kasoor, Pyar Koi Khel Nahin
and a disaster called Dhund. But you didn't miss much if you didn't see me in
them. When I started out, there was a lull in the industry because of Gulshan
Kumar's death. Everyone wanted me to play an NRI. Plus, there was no one to
guide me after my father's death.
Your dream role?
That of a vampire! I would hate to do a Devdas. I
enjoy dark roles because I am this sweet guy in real life. I probably wouldn't
want to be an out and out Ramsay devil but say like Al Pacino in The Devil's
Do you ever want to move behind the camera?
The supernatural fascinates me and when I am 40
plus, I want to make films on reincarnation. Three days before my father died, I
dreamt that he was no more. That is supposed to be a good sign but I wonder
whether it actually served as a warning. I saw a medium after his death. Even
NASA cannot explain everything.
How do you cope with acting both for films and TV?
I think I manage fairly well. I shoot virtually
all month round. Before Jassi, I worked very hard to get the lean look for a
film. I then had to put on weight for TV. But the ice creams and milk shakes
didn't add on the extra pounds because I was working all the time!Screen
Weekly - Apoorva
His film debut was almost faultless. Big banner, reputed
director and established co-stars. But inspite of Pardes' success luck still
eluded Apurva Agnihotri. Finally the show Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi where he plays
the sauve and charming Armaan Suri, has lifted his fortunes as girls all over
wish they were Armaan's secretary. A tete-a-tete with the goodlooking
Jassi... has happened when you were lying quite low.
film offers were absolutely uninspiring. I think the Pardes hangover still
continues because most of the roles that I was offered was of an NRI. They would
come to me with visuals like, 'You will be coming down from London. The first
shot is of you arriving at the airport'.. and so on. Every story sounded the
same to me. As an actor I cringe from doing anything stereotypical. But Jassi...
has been a suprise entry in my life. I had never really thought of television as
a career option.
So how come you decided to foray into it?
initially confused when Tony and Deeya Singh approached me for the role of
Armaan Suri in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin. Television was an unknown territory for
me. The approach and the scale is different, so is the working style. But when I
heard the story and screenplay there was no more dilly-dallying with the
decision. Anyone would have grabbed the role.
Did you watch the Columbian
production to get a a feel of the character?
I watched bits of it. I wanted
to play Armaan Suri my way, without any influence from other quarters. He should
be my original design based on the sketch given to me. Hence I took care not to
watch too much of the original show. And I must say that our directors have been
amazing, guiding us and at the same time letting us innovate.
identify with the character in anyway?
No. I don't rave and rant so much in
real life. I am a softspoken guy. I am also an introvert and can't dream of
chasing women with such fervour in real life. Not that I am not enjoying it on
Do you find it difficult to play someone you are
As an actor I should be able to excel in any role. I try and play it by
the ear most of the time. I don't believe in rehearsing too much. I don't want
to go for every shot with too many preconcieved notions. I like to leave room
for improvisation. And as for playing someone I am not, I feel a good actor
should be able to switch on and off from the character whenever needed. Once I
am through with the shooting I don't let Armaan Suri come home with
Jassi Jaisi... is an amazing combination of the underdog and the
people with power. Deep down we all want to be a bit of both'
you cope with this whole secrecy aspect surrounding the identity of Jassi?
People must be plaguing you with questions.
Nothing. it doesn't bother me(grinning all the
Do you think it is the curiousity value that is keeping the
interest levels pumped up?
To an extent yes. But more than that the basic
storyline is very appealing. It is an amazing combination of the underdog and
the people with power. Deep down we all want to be a bit of both.
you think Jassi is falling in love with Armaan Suri?
Well, he is probably the
only person who does not judge her on the basis of how she looks. He knows her
worth and intelligence. Even though he might manipulate her to suit his schemes
and plans, I think she feels there is a basic thread of trust between
So, does Jassi get the guy in the end?
You will have to wait and
Have you adjusted to the working ways of television?
hours can be taxing. But I am getting used to it. Doing television is more like
a regular job with more or less fixed working hours. Sometimes it does get
monotonous. But we have so much fun on the sets that no one is ever bored. But I
realise I can't get complacent. Soap opera characters are constantly evolving so
I can't afford to take it easy.
Do you think you are getting noticed now,
because of the popularity of the show?
Yes indeed. I have signed some films,
interesting projects and I have one film which is almost complete. It is with
Ahmed Khan and revolves around a group of four guys. Be it television or films,
I am here to stay. So I am ready to try out anything that comes my way and is
good. I am not new to the indusry. My father Gyan Dev Agnihotri was a writer. He
has worked with the likes of Basu Bhattacharya. You know when he was alive I was
never really keen on joining films. But after he died somehow films seemed to be
the natural path to take. I wanted my debut to be in a good film and thankfully
it was. But I still have a long way to go.
So, are you going to be
concentrating on Jassi...for the time being?
What I need to concentrate on,
right now is sleep (grinning). I have been working almost round the clock. But
seriously, yes Jassi...will always be special and she will get my full attention
now (laughs). The show has given my career a new lease of life.
SONY TELEVISION'S CHOSEN ONE! - Apoorva
How did Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin happen?
I got a call from Deeya (Singh) who
was keen to sign me on for their (Tony & Deeya Singh) new project. I liked
the subject immensely. Actually, even the channel was hot on me. That's how it
Tell us about your character in Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin.
Armaan, an affluent guy, who experiences a change of heart for Jassi. The plot
centres around Jassi, who hails from a middle-class family, and comes in contact
with high falutin' people.
Did you ever imagine that you would get such a terrific response?
shooting, I was happy with the way our project was shaping up. It's a simple
subject that everyone can identify with. Touchwood, people have taken to it in a
big way, which is evident from the stupendous TRPs. Plus, the fact that it's
currently showing from Monday to Thursday on prime time at nine helps. I'm told
the initial response has been unprecedented. Actually, it's adapted from the
super-successful serial Yo Soy Beatty La Fea, which has been aired in 25
countries already. I believe it's currently running in Spain.
The TRPs are much higher than Sahara Television's Karishma, which has not
evoked a favourable response. Is that flattering?
I'm not commenting on any
other serial. It's not my prerogative to do so. Moreover, much has been written
about it in the press already. But I'm happy that Jassi Jaissi... has kicked off
well. I'm learning a lot. I'm confident it'll sustain.
Weren't you approached for Karishma too?
(A bit hesitantly) Yes, Akashdeep
had called me. But, at that stage, I wasn't ready for the medium. Besides, the
serial is focussed on Karisma Kapoor. I thought I'd get lost in the flood of men
cast in the serial. I felt bad turning down the offer, but he was kind and
Your recent film Dhund: The Fog with Amar Upadhyay didn't fare well.
The fault lay in the marketing of the film and its music. We had a
decent product on hand, and the horror genre was in. With greater visibility, we
might have pulled through.
How does it feel to be launched by Subhash Ghai?
Of course, I'll always be
indebted to Mr. Ghai for giving me a good launch in Pardes. We continue to share
a great rapport. I'm particularly fond of his wife, who has been extremely
caring and warm to me. Needless to add, I'll be happy to work with Subhashji
What about your next film?
It's with Ahmed (Khan) and with several other
actors. I'm excited about it. It's shaped up well.
We hear that you are doing an English film Echoes as well?
about it in due course of time.
What's happening in your personal life?Coffee Break - Apoorva
(Laughs) Nothing. I'm single at
the moment. I'm still young, and haven't found the right partner yet.
Apoorva AgnihotriLunchtime is apparently coffee
time for Apoorva Agnihotri, otherwise known as Jassi's Armaan Sir. We spotted
him the other afternoon walking towards a coffee hangout at Versova.
Chatting away with a friend, he preferred to sit
in the heat in the outdoor caf Uinstead of the air-conditioned interiors. He
placed the order himself at the self-service outlet and seemed extremely relaxed
while enjoying his cuppa.
Beginning an extremely hot day with a warm cuppa
java, we like Apoorva's style. Now that he has begun warming up to Jassi on the
show, Armaan certainly needs to make himself warm and available!
Apoorva Agnihotri on Valentines' Day
"Valentine's day gives you the opportunity to be really vocal about
your feeling for someone who's ignited that spark in you. At other
times in the year, you are a little restrained because there's no way
you can suddenly go to her and blurt out, 'I love you, I really do.'
But on this day you can do that knowing that she'll take it in the
right spirit and if she feels the same way about you it'll make her
feel on top of the world. Well, that's what I'm planning to do this
Valentine's day. Say 'I love you' in all the ways I know and make her
day, I hope."
Singing and dancing shows are passe - Apoorva & Shilpa
This reality television series doesn't involve dancing, singing or any
gut wrenching dare. All this reality show requires is for the
participating couple to exhibit their parental skills.
Apurva, in the process of endorsing his show, somehow tip off the
scale and turn out to be offensive? This is what the actor had to say
when questioned why he chose Pati Patni aur Woh to come back to
television- "I personally as a viewer am kind of bored with singing and
dancing reality shows. I wouldn't watch them. I'd rather take my dog
out for a walk instead."
He goes on to talk about Pati Patni
aur Woh, "This show might change the face of reality television. This
might turn out to be a trendsetter."
On the other hand,
Apurva's better half Shilpa jumped into the ship for hubby dearest.
She says, "It was after a long time that I got a chance to work with
Apoorva. It was not possible earlier as either he would be tied up in a
commitment or I. This offer was made to us at the right moment and I
just couldn't let such a nice offer go."
However Apurva wasn't
the only reason Shilpa chose to do the show. She says, "I love kids.
And I was told that here I would have a chance to spend time with kids.
So I decided to go for it."
Pati Patni Aur Woh - Shilpa & Apoorva
On September 28, NDTV Imagine begins a new chapter in the history
of reality shows with Pati, Patni Aur Woh. The show takes you inside
the homes of five celeb couples to check their compatibility and their
ability to deal with the demands of an infant, 24X7. A much in love
couple married for over five years, Shilpa and Apoorva Agnihotri were
ready and confident to take on biggest responsibility in life ' that of
becoming parents and taking care of a baby! They would be completely on
their own, without any maids or nannies to help them. And every move of
theirs would be captured.
But all hell broke loose when the production house handed over twins
Eashaan and Ayaan to the couple. From feeding to changing diapers, and
from giving them a bath to doing a maalish, Apoorva and Shilpa were on
their toes all the time. Apoorva, who has always lived his life
kingsize and has never contributed to any household work, was doing
everything that he could to take care of the babies which definitely
was a relief for Shilpa. Will the couple survive these difficult task
or will the hardships break their strong bond? Tune in to Pati, Patni
Aur Woh from September 28, Monday to Friday at 10.30 pm, on NDTV
Double Dhamaka - Shilpa & Apoorva
Shilpa and Apoorva Agnihotri in Pati, Patni Aur Woh with 'their' kids
September 28, NDTV Imagine begins a new chapter in the history of reality shows
with Pati, Patni Aur Woh.
The show takes you inside the homes
of five celeb couples to check their compatibility and their ability to deal
with the demands of an infant, 24X7. A much in love couple married for over five
years, Shilpa and Apoorva Agnihotri were ready and confident to take on biggest
responsibility in life ' that of becoming parents and taking care of a
baby! They would be completely on their own, without any maids or nannies to
help them. And every move of theirs would be captured.
But all hell
broke loose when the production house handed over twins Eashaan and Ayaan to the
couple. From feeding to changing diapers, and from giving them a bath to doing a
maalish, Apoorva and Shilpa were on their toes all the time. Apoorva, who has
always lived his life kingsize and has never contributed to any household work,
was doing everything that he could to take care of the babies which definitely
was a relief for Shilpa. Will the couple survive these difficult task or will
the hardships break their strong bond? Tune in to Pati, Patni Aur Woh from
September 28, Monday to Friday at 10.30 pm, on NDTV Imagine