Ronit Roy needs no introduction. The actor who is currently riding high on the success of his films Udaan, SOTY, SAW and has earlier played powerful roles like Mihir Virani,
Mr. Bajaj, Dharamraj on the small screen has come a long way.
In an exclusive chat with TOI, the actor who plays advocate KD Pathak in Sony TV's courtroom drama talks about his work, colleagues and the change in television industry.Tell us something about the new supernatural series Khauff Ki Adaalat?
It's a month long supernatural twist in Adaalat and we are still in the process of shooting. Law is dealt with law books, logic and intelligence and not by supernatural powers and in the capacity of being such a lawyer, KD is not endorsing the supernatural stories. The upcoming episodes will basically highlight stories on how supernatural stuff is used by various people, Babas through their tricks, magic. So in the supernatural realm it will be the breaking of a myth. Does Ronit Roy believe in supernatural?
For that you will have to define supernatural. There are spirits that are good and bad. Also there are lots of reasons why they are there. I believe in life after death but is that what you call supernatural or what you see in movies is supernatural? If there is a word called natural then there is supernatural too. I do believe that every living being has supernatural element inside them plainly because our body is made out of five elements Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Sky. I believe in spirits that's why people say that let the spirit never die. I may not be in person but my spirit will always be there and our spirit is supernatural. Off late, we have not seen you in daily soaps?
I don't have the time to work in daily soaps. It's not that am concentrating more on films because in the past two years after Udaan, I have done only four films SOTY, SAW, UGLY and BOSS. And for all these films, I was just needed for 20-25 days. So it was a total of 100 days in a year. Earlier when I did TV, I used to go home in 10 days but now I have kids at home and if I continue to do that, my children won't even talk to me. I still work 12 hrs a day, 30 days in a month but if I do daily soaps along with this schedule, I will have to bring 60 days in a month. Do you miss being part of a daily soap?
No. I am on TV and my audience is there. The amount of time to make a 45 min per day, 90 min a week programming for a thriller takes the same time as doing a daily soap of 23 minutes every day for 5 days. I shoot 20-25 days a month. Which shows do you watch on TV?
I sometimes watch Mahadev but I have just watched it in bits and pieces as my wife watches it. I sometime like watching international thrillers as more than viewing it's for educating myself. Basically it is to figure out what we are missing out, how we can correct ourselves, for standards, to see their writing pattern, their performances and their storylines. So it's more of research and development rather than entertainment viewing. Is there any American show that you would like to remake?
There are so many fabulous shows like Prison Break. Anil Bhaiya (Kapoor) is adapting 24 but our hands are tied up very badly because if we ask the makers of American shows to work within our parameters, they won't be able to do programming. They do R & D and writing for 3 months, then pre-productions for two months followed by actors reading and workshops. So 5 months is just pre-productions then 5 months is shooting time and post production. When their season goes on-air, the rest of the time they are developing.
However, we have a different working pattern. For a show like Adaalat which is running for almost three years, we are delivering every week and that to at one tenth of the budget, which is great. CID has been running since past 16 years without any break - it's a mammoth task to deliver. How much has TV changed in the last 10 years?
Frankly speaking quality has not increased! Whatever I see today on TV is almost the same as what we did in 2000-2001. The daily soaps that I did that time; I find the same thing running even today. Some people have managed to bring quality via content but, more or less, everything is same. Tell us something about your film Boss with Akshay Kumar?
When I heard the script, the first thing that I said was I cannot do it. But Akshay called me up personally and I shared my problem with him. I told him that you are Akshay Kumar
and I am Mihir, Mr.Bajaj on TV - an old man. You have a different personality - you have fought with WWF wrestlers in your films. However, he then assured me that everything will be fine. There is some mind blowing action in the film. Apni taraf se I did whatever I can do. While working on this film, I got to learn about different type of fitness regime. The level of body building I did was much more serious, as I had to put on muscle. I worked out for 12 weeks and did 3 months of hardcore bodybuilding. I am glad that Akshay was very happy with the result. Do you regret on missing out on the Hollywood film Zero Dark Thirty? Kathryn Bigelow
is an Oscar winning director and this year also her film was nominated for Oscars. But as I was committed to SOTY, I couldn't do Zero Dark Thirty
and when I saw the film, I was little upset ki kash kar liya hota
. But then these things happen. You have had several popular and memorable characters on TV. What is that one thing about you that connects you to the audience?
I think I am having a love affair with my audience. I love them, they love me and over the years my audience has grown. My audiences know that if Ronit is coming up with something on TV it has to be entertaining and even I don't want to let them down. Whether, it is a cookery show Kitchen Champion where we did so many new things or some other show. Over the years more and more people have started watching me.
If you will watch my twitter or facebook page, you will realize that I have a serious audience who loves me from places like Macedonia, Tunisia and Serbia. Which Indian TV actor will have fans from a place like Serbia? So it's my destiny that I have got an opportunity to be a part of some fantastic shows. People watch my shows on Youtube and keep asking me for DVD. I have suggested Sony TV to sell Adaalat
on home video.