In the world of Marathi theatre, he is a name to reckon with. He has acted in over 60 Hindi films, numerous Marathi plays and Marathi TV serials too. Now, more into teleserials, he plays ACP Pradyuman in Sony Entertainment's CID Special and CID Special Bureau. He reminds one, of the detective serial The Old Fox that DD used to telecast two decades ago! Like the lead character of The Old Fox, he too is calm and composed, unlike his TV appearance. Shivaji Satam is much more than what he appears on screen.
Can you tell us something about your career?
I began my acting career with Marathi theatre but first appeared on television with the English serial A Mouthful of Sky where I played Milind Soman's father. It ran for over a hundred episodes. This is my second Hindi serial after Famous Trials of India, a 4-episode shot about 15 years ago. CID Special is the longest serial I've done. It's also been going strong for about 7 years, 2 months.
What about your academic days?
I hail from Devgad in Maharashtra. I did my schooling at the Antonio D'Souza High School, Byculla, Mumbai, and also joined boarding at the Barnes High School, Devlali. I returned to Mumbai, did my college at Maharshi Dayanand College, Parel, graduating in Chemistry. I also did a Diploma in Business Management.
Were you into acting while in school and college?
No, I wasn't. I was instead more of a sportsman and represented my school and college in table tennis, cricket and volleyball. I still play cricket in my neighbourhood, with my friends.
On the personal front…
I'm 55, and am married with two sons. Both are into theatre. Marriage has never affected my career. But I'd like to add that I lost my wife, about five years ago, to breast cancer. She was a Chatrapati Shivaji award winner in the sports field, captain of the Kabbadi team and later coach of the Maharashtra kabbadi team. She was the best thing to have happened to me. She was very supportive in whatever I did.
One hears that you were a salaried employee before taking up acting…
Yes, I served with the Central Bank of India for 23 years, at the same time acting in Marathi theatre. Marathi theatre, at that time did not pay well but I continued more for the love of it than anything else. My bank salary helped me make ends meet. Marathi theatre today is really huge and is the most popular and successful theatre anywhere in India.
When did you get your first break?
I was into Marathi theatre. One play led to another and that's how I made it big. But my theatre interest developed since childhood, when I'd sit down for 3 hours, watching TV plays. From theatre I went on to Doordarshan and then films. I did the Marathi crime serial Ek Shuniya Shuniya (1988-89) which was directed by my old friend and present director of CID Special, B.P Singh. I did more family- based and social issue serials.
How did the serial come up?
My association with BP Singh goes a long way back in time. You could say he's the father and mother of CID Special and CID Special Bureau. He's the director, producer, and cameraman of the serial and more than a friend to me. I also have a close association with Mr. Pradeep Mukul who gave me a break in ad films.
Have you done any commercials then?
A few but good ones! I did my first commercial for Lifebuoy, playing a coach with Ashutosh Gowarikar. I also did commercials for Indian Oil, Onida, a fertilizer, and a few others.
What's your impression about CID…?
It's the best crime serial on Indian television. There are many others, but I don't think they come close to this one. It also boasts of almost the same cast as it first rolled out with.
What is the difference between CID Special and CID Special Bureau?
CID Special deals with fresh cases whereas CID Special Bureau deals with long forgotten and closed cases.
What is the USP of the serial?
Every human being loves a mystery! CID caters to that requirement. Secondly it is presented in a decent way, never in a morbid manner sans visuals of blood and gore. And lastly, it's the narration that's simple. All this makes it appealing to the youngest and the oldest of the audiences who watch our serial. The case stories are also interesting and the investigation makes you (the audience) want to decide who the culprit could be. The serial keeps you gripped all the time, with its speed and swiftness.
What would you say about your role?
I have a very hard-hitting character so much so that I do not compromise on anything when it comes to the serial. In the serial, I have nothing personal with anyone and am not biased.
Are you hot-headed in real life like your character?
I have to be what I am in the serial, as I have to play a strong person to the hilt. But as far as my personal life goes, I am a very down-to-earth and fun-loving person. I do get angry sometimes but then minutes later I'm okay.
Do you watch your serial at home?
Oh, yes I do! One, because I love the serial, and two, to check out on my performance and see if it needs any polishing.
Were you always interested in crime?
Mystery does catch my fancy! I guess I am as interested in crime stories as any other man on the street. I've read by crime writers from Hitchcock to Hadley.
What has been the response from audiences?
Amazing! People love me. Recently we got the certification that CID Special entered the Limca Book of World Records and the Guinness Book of World Records for having a first ever 111 minutes Single Shot Episode. A great feat, indeed.
You are also into films?
I must have done 60 films till date although I can't remember their names. My first one was Andha Yudh. I've just done two, one in Hindi and the other in Marathi for Mahesh Manjrekar that are literature based. The latest I'm working on Manjrekar's Viruddh. I also recently did Kisna where I played Vivek Oberoi's father. My other movies in the past are Nidhan, Ghulam Mustafa, Vaastav, Hu Tu Tu, Pukaar, Suryavansham, Fiza besides English movies like English August and Split Wide Open.
Why more of television and less of films? Is it the money factor?
No, not the money. It just happened. It's like playing on one ground and then going ahead and playing on a bigger ground. The money obviously comes with the baggage.
Any more serials in the pipeline?
I don't have any, but if you come to think of it, why should I do more, when I'm getting enough satisfaction doing just one which is the most popular on television. Besides, I just love working with BP Singh, who's an actor's director.
Edited by bluepink - 12 May 2005 at 9:23pm