Sharad Kelkar who will be seen in the avatar of a landlord in COLORS' and Balaji Telefilms' Bairi Piya unwinds with Telly Buzz...
Back to fiction after a long time. How does it feel?
It's not been a long time yaar. It's only been few months. But yeah it feels good to be back.
This show is a first for you with Balaji Telefilms. What made you accept the offer?
Well actually this is not my first show with Balaji. I've worked for a Balaji Telefilms show way back, called Koi Dill Main Hai. But at that time I was a model and wasn't a good actor, so was replaced within five days!
So did you hold any grudge against Ekta? Did she have to convince you to take this role?
No she did not have to convince me at all! I liked the story and my character in it. That made me sign up for the show.
How has your experience been with COLORS?
It's been great. I have done a dance event with COLORS previously and they gave me good feedback about it. In fact if I can afford to be smug, they told me, mine was the best performance in the whole show! And with Ashwini this is my third show. I've earlier worked with her for Sindoor Tere Naam Ka and Saat Phere. So I know a lot of people in COLORS, and the team is very co-operative. Overall it has been a good experience.
Which of Ekta's present shows do you like?
Bairi Piya (Laughs).
Explain in brief your character in the show...
My character's name is Thakur Devendra Singh who is a landlord from the Vidharbh area of Maharashtra. He is following his ancestors in looking after the family business. He is a man who is straightforward. He knows his position in the society and commands due respect it deserves. My character does have grey shades to it, and I don't want to keep the audience in the dark about it. I hope they like me in this role too. But I can't stop them from not liking me. So people- 'If you hate me, then do it, hate me to the core. If you love me, the same , love me to the core!'
Do you find any striking similarity in the character you play in Bairi Piya to that of Saat Phere's Nahar?
No, not at all. In that case I wouldn't have taken up this role at all! Would there be any room left for my growth as an actor?
What are your expectations from the show?
Very high expectations! As it is a Balaji Telefilms show it brings with it a certain bar of standard which shouldn't be brought down. Also this is a very different show which may tend to get dark at times. But that's where its uniqueness lies and I hope Balaji gets rewarded for its innovative trial.
Describe your look in the show.
Well, I'm a decent educated man. I wear expensive clothes but not modern. I have a character which has a typical switch on switch off trait. Out in the fields I'm very serious, all business. But at home, I switch off that attitude of mine and switch on to a more homely persona. I tease my wife, I care about my kids. So that's how it is…
Any kind of homework, either in language or accent or any other thing that you had to take up for this role?
Not a lot of homework was required really. We only speak Hindi. Probably a Marwadi word here and Marathi word there. Also, since I myself am from Madhya Pradesh, from my childhood experience I know the attitude and style of Landlords. Also Ekta Kapoor and Sandeep Sikand, the Creative Head of the show, explained the character to me so nicely that it prepared me fully for everything ahead.
We have seen you as an actor as well as an anchor. Which interests you more?
Both are equally interesting for me.
How was your stint as the host of NDTV Imagine's Pati Patni aur Woh?
It was fantastic. It was unlike the usual hosting that we witness. This required me to interact with the participants to be on their ground level. All the five couples were amazing. Some of them are known to me personally. The experience was very real for me.
Is there any chance of seeing you and your wife Kirti together in a show?
Well, I hope so too. I hope someone realizes that –'Hey they're a celebrity couple! Why not offer them something they can be a part of.' But on a serious note I think till now it was impossible because Kirti was out of Mumbai for Choti Bahu.
When do you both plan to extend your family?
Next year, hopefully. (Smiles)
Reporter and Author: Susan Jose