The very talented and charming Nigaar Z. Khan, known for her acting, anchoring and comedy skills, has been in the industry for quite some time now.
From her debut show Lipstick on Zee TV, she has entertained us in innumerable shows and movies. And in the process, the multi-talented actress has set a benchmark with her splendid performances.
In a conversation with TellyBuzz, Nigaar Z. Khan talks of her come back to television in the much-awaited historical drama 'Buddha- The King of Kings', which will go on-air on September 8, 2013.
Tell us something about your character in your upcoming historical show Buddha " The King of Kings'.
In the show Buddha, I'll be seen playing the role of Mangala, who is Sudhodhana's (played by Sameer Dharmadhikari) second brother's wife. Since Queen Mahamaya couldn't conceive, King Sudhodhana was to get married for the second time and Mangala was supposed to be one of the Queens. However, Mahamaya asks him to get married to her younger sister Prajapati. Therefore, Mangala ends up getting married to Sudhodhana's younger brother Dronadhan. Eventually, my life moves on with Dronadhan and we have a child. So, it is for the first time I'll be seen playing the role of a mother. My character Mangala wants to see her son as the King and hence becomes an evil for the rest of the world. There are lot of twists and turns to my character that will unfold as the show progresses.
What made you choose this role?
To be very honest, it's not the role that made me pick up the show, but it's the whole concept of Buddha that excited me. When Shreekantji met me for the first time, he narrated me the entire story of Buddha's life. It is for the first time Buddha's story will be depicted on Indian Television, and I feel honored to be a part of it. As an actor, I want to be remembered as someone who is associated to new and different things.
You rose to fame with your debut 'Lipstick' on Zee TV and yet again, Buddha will be featured on the same channel. So how has been your association with the channel?
I remember that Lipstick was launched on September 9, 2002 and Buddha will be releasing on Sepember 8, 2013. It's been a beautiful journey with Zee TV and I'm really glad that the channel gave me my first big break. I just hope the audience showers the same love on 'Buddha - The King of Kings' as they did for Lipstick.
You have set a benchmark for negative roles and still continue to do so. Do you enjoy it?
I have never done a negative character without a reason, it is always motive-led. Even my character Sheetal Singhania in Lipstick was a central character and the story revolved around Sheetal's life and the truth, how best friends can turn into enemies in the pursuit of love and success. Frankly speaking, I am not bored of doing grey shade characters; my audience are not bored of watching me in a negative shade, so I just love the way it is.
Did you ever fear being typecast?
I feel people who have just began their career, they fear of getting typecast. But for someone like me who has sustained in the industry for the past 11 years, I have already left a mark in the hearts of the people and I wish to continue to do so. Basically, you cannot compare television to films. As an actor, you always have to be realistic and take up challenges as they come. When people appreciate me for characters with grey shades, why would I pick up a hammer and put it on my own foot by going out of my way?
Were you ever offered any positive role in your entire career span?
Not many know about it, but down the line, I had done a pilot (test episode) and I think that was the best role of my career till date. It was such a controversial show, whereby I was playing the main lead with Ayub Khan and Gaurav Sharma and Farida Jalal. But sadly, none of the channels picked it up because it was too ahead of its time. It was a story of a cross dresser by Golden Ticket, a new production house. If that show would have been a hit, then everybody would have known that I can play a positive role in an amazing way.
I share a special bond with comedy, in fact I had even won the series Comedy Circus 20-20. Recently, I did two episodes of Comedy Nights with Kapil and it was fun. I must say, Kapil is such a bundle of talent when it comes to comedy and you get to learn a lot from him. The good part is there are no takes, its just one shot comedy and that is the reason you have to give your best shot to it. Moreover, I indulge myself in theater also. My last theater play was with Mr. Saurabh Shukla, called Two To Tango, Three To Jive. So I enjoy performing live and interacting with the audience.
Your new historical avatar looks quite impressive. Tell us something about it.
The entire credit of my look goes to Niddhi and our assistant creative Jay. However, I would proudly take all the credit for my make-up because everything is decided by me in regards to make-up. But if you look at the costume and jewellery, it is a result of an intense research and fine detailing.
Is historical drama more difficult as compared to daily soaps?
It's not difficult at all. Generally, actors do make a fuss of it. But what takes a toll is the hairdo. Following a similar line, I would like to share an incident which director Bhushan Patel told me when I began my career. He narrated the incident when Amitabh Bachchan, who was shooting for Aakhree Raasta in mid summer, was playing the character of David. He had to carry a huge blanket around him in the scorching heat. When the shot ended, one of the assistant director asked him, 'Don't you feel hot in this huge blanket?' Amitabhji turned around and said 'Because I don't think about it, I don't feel hot, its all in the mind'. In fact, even we have shot in 37 degrees in a heavenly place like Kashmir, but it was in the summer, so it was horrible, but then you have to do it.
Did you take any efforts to research about Buddha, at a personal level?
I did a little bit of research, in order to get the gist of the story, but nothing in detail. Nevertheless, I have done a lot of in-depth research on my character Mangala.
How religious are you in real life?
I am God fearing!
What disciplines do you follow in your life?
I only follow one thing that I have to be honest to myself. When I go to bed knowing that I have lied to myself, there cannot be a bigger cheater than me. Therefore, I just believe to be true and honest to myself.
Is there any role on your wishlist?
I am very greedy when it comes to work. Initially when I started my career, I just had one goal in my life that I want to learn, endlessly. I used to sit in front of the monitor and not budge from it. I was so blessed to have actors like Krutika Desai, Grusha Kapoor, Ali Khan and Sadiya Siddique around me. However, now when I look at the new actors and the new shows, I feel there are lot of roles which I need to experiment with, so its a long way to go.