A strong script is the winner in the end. Actors are definitely not bigger than the characters in the soaps
It's undeniable that TV has introduced some new faces who went to become names to reckon with having a star appeal and a strong recall value. Taking from Sakshi Tanwar, Smriti Irani, Amar Upadhyay
, Ram Kapoor to Shilpa Anand, Karan Singh Grover, Ankita Lokhande, Sushant Singh
Rajput, Aditya Redij, Mishal Raheja et al, every established actor in TV has a stardom that reflects the 30 minute air time which made them popular faces in households across the country.
Butt a million rupee question that frequently does the rounds is whether it's the character or the actor that acts as a game changer. Picture this. Actor Barun Sobti's talk of taking an extended leave from the show Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon? has sparked so many issues that are crucial to the creative process called the storyline.
All these lead to one question, who is the hero — the actors or the characters? Creative satisfaction works in different equations in showbiz. While actors seem to be keen on exploring more creative freedom and opportunities, production houses appear to be letting the story garner the respective show the required eyeballs. The industry feels, there should be a balance that should be maintained in order to streamline the storyline.
"We must understand the nature of work. The daily soap scenario doesn't end in three months," says producer Rajan Shahi, who feels working in television requires serious commitment from an actor. "Working as a lead requires an actor to make a one way commitment. A lot of newcomers have become stars on TV. And the kind of money that is invested in a lead is phenomenal," adds Shahi.
"There are many reasons like the end of the contract period, extension of shoot schedule which, in one way or the other affect how things function; sometimes resulting in actors leaving a particular show," says producer Nikhil Sinha.
Shahi, who feels, it's a tricky
situation. "The more popular a show becomes, the more popular the stars become. This is where the crux lies — actors get mileage out of the show."
At the same time, actors too feel, one should always explore opportunities. Mohit Malhotra says, "One should always look forward to exploring more in the glambiz. So one can consider bigger opportunities as an actor."
The story survives the lead actor's departure, feels the industry. As it was evident in the past also with shows like Kyun Ki... and Pavitra Rishta having stood the test of the time. "The story and the characters are always bigger than the actors," says Shahi adding, "A show is above everybody. Of course it takes time for things to get set. It always works this way — the main hero is the story which dictates the character and the character dictates the actors."
Seconds Sinha, who says, "The storyline should not go haywire. It is the story which fetches the audience and not the other way round."
While actors too gradually adapt to the changing equations on the sets. "Initially, it became difficult for me to acclimatize myself when Sushant quit Pavitra Rishta. Later, I told myself that Manav is a character in that show who will always be loved by Archana, no matter what. That made the difference," says Ankita Lokhande.
When it comes to the creative process, the story shouldn't suffer, feel many. And rather the brand equity of the star affect the show, importance is now being given more to the story and the character that is etched, feels the industry.