Posted: 21 December 2011 at 4:28am | IP Logged
MOHNISH BEHL AT HIS CANDID BEST!
[13 Dec 2011]
"Right now, Kuch Toh Log Kahenge Is Piggybacking On Bade Achche Lagte Hain"
There are two kinds of people who rule the industry – those who are
publicity hungry and those who choose to be known for their work. And
Mohnish Behl is certainly an actor who belongs to the latter category.
No wonder then that it's mighty difficult to forget his sincere
portrayal of Dr. Shashank Gupta in the popular show Sanjivani - A
Medical Boon. Be it Sanjivani… or Dill Mill Gayye, there's no doubt that
playing a doctor has been rather lucky for him.
Exactly why, when the
makers of Kuch Toh Log Kahenge were looking out for an actor who could
do justice to the character of Dr. Ashutosh, Mohnish was the best and
only option they saw. Despite all the critical acclaim, the initial
response to the show has been only satisfactory. But Mohnish is hoping
that the show picks up with time.
Mohnish, who's back on the small screen after a while with Kuch
Toh…, admits that he took a long break because he believes in quality
over quantity. "I do tend to be a little selective about the work I take
on. With TV, you have to go back and do a particular character every
single day. So I don't want to be bored and do it just for the sake of
it. I was offered two scripts and I chose this one over the other."
this show also required him to play a doctor, something that he's
portrayed earlier on TV, what made him do it? "I just thought that it
would be interesting to explore the emotional angle that is a part of
this show. It's about a person in his mid 40s, who falls in love with a
girl half his age. I love how the unlayering of his personality takes
place on the show. My character is quite complex and caged about his
emotions because of what has happened in his life. So I thought it was
an interesting subject to work on," he informs.
One of the
reasons Mohnish also took up the show was because of its producer, Rajan
Shahi. "I have always wanted to work with Rajanji. The deciding factor
was also the channel (Sony) it was going to be aired on. At the end of
the day, everybody wants a larger footprint. You know when you work with
a person like Rajanji, you realise that the production house is not
there only to make money, but also to maintain their dignity and
Unfortunately, despite being projected as one of
the most promising shows on the channel, it hasn't garnered the kind of
response that was expected from it. The show got a lot of critical
acclaim, but the TRPs haven't been pleasing enough. Since Mohnish is the
face of the show, does that upset him? "You know, we got an opening TRP
of 1.1. I am not so hooked onto the TRP game. But honestly, I thought
it was a very poor opening considering the channel, the people involved
and the publicity that Sony did for the show. I know that they left no
stone unturned. I was looking at something like a 1.5 rating but that
didn't happen," he pauses. "I also didn't agree with the time slot that
was chosen. I thought that the 8 o' clock time slot wasn't right,
because it's not a children's show. So that was a setback. Having said
that, what Sony did in the second or third week is that they started a
rerun at 11 o'clock. With that we got an average TRP of 1.39, which is
Bade Achche Lagte Hain, which is easily a hot favourite
amongst the audience at present, also airs on the same channel, that
too just before Kuch Toh... So does he see it as competition? "Not at
all!" he says surprised. "At this point in time, thank God for Bade
Achche... We come just after that so people who watch that stay on to
watch Kuch Toh... too. We do get tremendous viewing because of that
show. In fact, we're piggybacking on them. Besides, I think Ram (Kapoor)
is doing a fabulous job in it. He's one of those actors, who is surely
in my good books."
Moving on, Mohnish's TV career only boasts of
roles that have seen him in a serious and stern avatar. Yes, he has
received unprecedented amount of praise for them, but does that mean the
audience will never see him in light-hearted roles? He disagrees, "I
would love to comedy someday. As an actor, I feel a little tied down.
How many different ways can you do the same stuff? That was one of my
concerns when I took on another role as a doctor. So I had to make a
conscious effort to characterize Dr. Ashutosh in a different way."
might be taking up most of his time currently, but the talented actor
has had his fair share of memorable roles in films too. Over 20 years of
experiencing both the worlds – TV and films, which of the two mediums
have been more gratifying for him? "Both have worked for me to an
extent. I don't know how many actors would say that they're satisfied
with the kind of work they've done because dil always maange more. You
always want more fame and appreciation. But I don't want to compare the
two mediums. I think I've got a lot of satisfaction from cinema as
well," he smiles, "I haven't been as choosy with cinema as I have been
with TV. 98 per cent of my career has been films. I've done films like
Hum Saath Saath Hain, which released in 1999 and people still remember
me from it."
Professionally, Mohnish may al-ways portray grim
characters, but personally, the actor is the exact opposite of his
on-screen persona. A father to two lovely daughters and the perfect
husband to his wife Ekta, Mohnish is a lucky man. Ask him why very
little is known of his personal life and he laughs, "You don't hear
about me because you don't ask. I have one wife and two daughters. My
elder one is 18-and-half years old. She is studying law, while my
younger one is two-and-half years old. We might have a third baby too! I
got married to a young lady, ran away with her when she was 21 years
old. My life is about going to work and coming home. I don't party. I
don't promote my career by being seen in parties. I don't attend award
functions. I will only attend those functions that have a personal
meaning to me."
Any interview with the actor is incomplete
without the mention of his late mother Nutan, who was undoubtedly one of
the best actresses of her time. "She is the motivating factor in my
life even today. She was very forgiving and non-judgmental as a human
being. I can't say if she would've been proud of me as an actor. But I
think she'd have appreciated the work I'm doing. But I don't know how
the actress Nutan would've judged me."
While many TV stars are
open to doing reality shows today, he insists that he will never enter
that zone. "There are three kinds of reality shows. One is the
music-based reality show and I'm not a singer. I'm not a dancer either. I
escaped that all these years. So thank God for that! The other is the
Bigg Boss type and I'm certainly not up for that. I love going back home
to my family at the end of a tiring day. When the shifts extend beyond
seven to eight hours, I want to go back home as soon as possible.
Primarily, I'm an actor by profession and I like to have a script in
hand and interpret a character. So why would I do a reality show?"
we draw close to the end of our chat, I ask Mohnish what's in store for
him in the future and he smiles, "I hope I work next year like I am
working this year. I'm a very insecure person as far as my career is
concerned. It's here today, gone tomorrow," he continues, "On a personal
level, I hope my elder daughter does well in her studies. I hope my
wife loves me more and more. My little one should get off her bottle and
start drinking milk from a glass! It's lovely to have her around.
Coming home to her feels so good. I have three women in my life, so it's
pretty much a king's life though I am so busy."
Well, with a
show that's slowly but surely catching up and a loving family to go back
to, Mohnish is not only a content actor but also a happy man. Not many
actors can boast of this, but he sure is amongst the lucky few.