In real life, Karan Mehra will become a spouse next month. But he has been playing an ideal husband Naitik for about four years in the popular show "Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai" (YRKKH) and says he has to isolate himself from the role to avoid living his character off-screen as well.
"I need to keep away from my character when I am off-screen, otherwise I start living my character. It is important to cut off. This is what has helped me to go on for such a long time. It helps in keeping my character afresh as well," he told IANS.
In the series, he plays an ideal husband of Akshara (Hina Khan), but is keen to change his image.
"For so many years people have seen me as an ideal husband. I want to try something different now and change this image. I want to do something innovative. This will be a challenge for me as well," he said, but added that YRKKH, which comes on Star Plus, will always be his top priority.
Importantly, none of the pivotal actors have left the show since its inception and he feels that this is why the show has done so well.
"No one has left the show since it started and this is what makes it more realistic and loved. If we had left it in the middle for other shows, it would have suffered. The show will always be my first priority and if I am working on something else as well, I will manage it with the show," he said.
A plan for other shows doesn't mean Karan will accept another fictional show, but is open to reality shows.
"It would be a nice change to be part of a reality show, something which doesn't take too many days in a month," he said.
Produced by Director's Kut Productions, "Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai" recently completed 1,000 episodes and it was a proud moment for the actor.
"It is a big milestone for us. The day came after four years of hard work. It is amazing that people still love the show after so many years," he said.
"The experience has helped me become the actor that I am today. It has taught me many things which I have inculcated in my life," he said.
On the personal front, the actor is set to marry his long time girlfriend, actress Nisha Rawal next month.
"I am getting married next month. The preparations are going well but it is a challenge to take time out," he said.