Joined: 26 November 2009
Television continues to be dominated by young faces, newcomers in the 18 to 22 age group, most of them in lead roles.
But now, one can spot a growing number of actors in their 30s playing lead roles. They may look like an unusual sight in the sea of chic young faces, but these 30-plus actors are hogging as much of the limelight as their young counterparts.
Pushed to the back-burner because of the channels' preference for newcomers, till recently most of these seasoned actors were either out of action or forced to play cameos and host non-fiction shows. This change has come about largely due to the success of Bade Achhe Lagte Hain, which brought back Ram Kapoor and Sakshi Tanwar as a vintage pair who fall in love.
Now, the old familiar faces are back. Shweta Tiwari, who was doing stand-up comedy after winning the Bigg Boss 4 title, and the almost forgotten Rupali Ganguly, have returned to daily soaps in lead roles in Parvarish. Sameer Soni, who was Shweta's co-contestant in Bigg Boss but had stayed away from serials for over a decade, is playing the protagonist in Parichay.
Mohnish Behl, who has not been very active on television after his debut show Sanjeevani seven years ago, is making waves as Dr Ashutosh in Kuch To Log Kahenge. Narendra Jha and Shubhangi Atre, who enjoyed success earlier in Jai Hanuman and Kasturi respectively are the central characters in Havan.
Will the trend contnue? "It's difficult to say but good actors are always in demand," says Hiten Tejwani who recently replaced Sushant Singh as Manav in Pavitra Rishta. Incidentally, Hiten played cameos and character roles for two years and hosted Ratan Ka Rishta after enjoying mega success with Kutumb, Kyunki and Kasauti. He, however, adds that he had no issues playing cameos.
Staying away from serials was a conscious decision on Shweta's part. "I was offered a lot of roles but nothing was really worth taking a call on. But now things are changing as channels are experimenting with different subjects. I have no problem playing a mother as I have done it before with actors older than me," says Shweta.
Ronit Roy, the only actor who has survived the onslaught of newcomers by doing shows like Bandini and Adalat, is of the view that seasoned actors will never fade out.
"The advantage with experienced actors is that they bring maturity and a certain calibre which lends credibility to the show," he says.
Producer Rajan Shahi agrees, "The problem with newcomers is that they all look and act the same. As TV heads towards a new trend, the standard of acting improving with more older actors returning."
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