She is manipulative, wicked, bizarre. She's also a killer. The latest villain to invade Indian television, Gitanjali Tikekar, speaks to Vickey Lalwani about the sudden turn of events her character Apoorna has taken in the last weeks on Kasautii..... Excerpts:
We saw glimpses of you in 'Kahin To Milenge' and 'Kya Haadsa Kya Haqeeqat'.
Surprising that you remember those. I was very goody-goody in both.
I know. But you shot to fame with 'Kasautii Zindagi Kay'...
(Interrupts) Wrong. I shot to fame only when my character became negative. There's the catch. Unlike positive portrayals, all negative portrayals get noticed. I used to hardly get any feedback when I was playing the 'adarsh nari' in Anurag's life. You shock the audience on TV and you can become famous overnight.
But you 'are' the 'adarsh nari' in Czanne's life too, aren't you?
I knew this was coming. But I didn't expect it so soon (laughs). There is not an iota of truth in the rumours that Czanne and I are dating each other.
What is the relationship you share with him?
I am very fond of him. There is a certain bonding. He is a very sweet guy. But we are certainly not having a scene.
Back to Aparna, sorry, Apoorna. Why did this female turn into a killer?
I don't know. It's a daily soap. Nothing is scripted in advance.
How did you react when you were first told about the dramatic turn in your character?
Initially I was apprehensive. I thought people may not like it. I was not even sure whether I'd be able to do it convincingly. The new role requires me to be irrational and rude which is so unlike me in reality. But I am surprised that I have pulled it off. I am enjoying the adulation I am receiving.
All credit to Ekta Kapoor and her team of creatives who sat with me and helped me get into the skin of the character. They asked me to change my body language. They wanted to me to change even the way I look at a person.
You have mentioned in a section of the media that Komolika's (Urvashi Dholakia) character was becoming repetitive and the TRPs were falling, hence your character turned negative. Right?
Wrong. I never mentioned anything like that. If it has appeared somewhere, I must say that I have been misquoted. Kasautii... is a team effort. The only character which was not making the grade actually was Apoorna. But now... (shrugs and laughs).
Tell us more about Apoorna.
Well, I don some weird wig and have lots of feathers on my body. I think I am looking too evil in the serial. My parents have started hating me!
Do you really like wearing so many toppings?
Toppings? (Laughs) Nice word. Frankly, I used to find many female villains as funny when I used to see them in their garish get-ups. But now I know it is required. You can't stand there simply and expect to get a fan following unless you have a very strong and lengthy role.
The next logical step is films?
No. For two reasons. One, I am an atrocious dancer. Two, I won't be comfy in smooching and love-making scenes which I think have become an integral part of every Bollywood girl's career.