Joined: 13 July 2005
Life in the cop shop
Shivaji Satam on his nine years as a super cop
In the days when characters on television appear and disappear with the blink on an eye, Shivaji Satam's nine-year stint playing ACP Pradyuman on CID can easily be passed off as an achievement of sorts. However one cannot help but wonder why the poor ACP was never promoted during his nine-year tenure… with a cent per cent success rate at that!
Jokes apart, but for many of us who have grown up watching Satam play a cop first in the Marathi serial Ek Shoonya Shoonya, the image has stayed. Later, when CID came on air on Sony TV, Satam became the Iftikhar of the small screen. Ironically these are Satam's only two notable television appearances in the last 20 years. But his screen persona has stuck with him in a way like no other.
Yet, the 56-year-old actor insists that he hasn't been typecast. "I have hardly played a police officer on the big screen. Even in theatre, I don't remember having played a cop as much as I do on television," he says. "It's just that many children (he says majority of his audience is the young and the restless) have grown up watching me as a cop. So they associate better when I play that role."
Satam adds that he has consciously kept away from playing cop in films and theatre. "I have turned down cop roles because I wanted to do something different," he says.
However he insists that there was never a time during CID that he felt like throwing up his hands and announcing 'I quit'. "Producer-director BP Singh has been one of the best in the business. He makes sure that no two episodes are repetitive and monotonous," he says.
Satam can't fathom the new-fangled concept of actors quitting shows and characters being killed, all the time. He says, "I do understand that actors and producers have their compulsions. But I guess there has to be some moral commitment to the work one is doing. I just wish the contracts also take into consideration the creative aspect of serial-making and include how a particular role will shape up. That will ensure everyone is happy and also prevent a track from going haywire."
A former Central Bank of India employee Satam recollects an incident that happened years ago in the bank's Worli branch. He recollects, "A schoolmaster was robbed of the money he had withdrawn. Later at the police station, he looked at me and pleaded 'Please do something. Only you can get my money back.' The investigating officer gave me a wry smile that I can never forget."
• A schoolmaster was robbed of the money he had withdrawn. Later at the police station, he looked at me and pleaded 'Please do something. Only you can get my money back'. The investigating officer gave me a wry smile that I can never forget
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