Shakti Anand returns to small screen with a lead role in Sphere Origin and Sony's Godh Bharaai, in which he portrays the character of Shivam Agnihotri.
The actor explains his absence from telly for so long, his wicked wish for replacement of Pallavi, and how success in Bollywood has been sadly averting him.
Tell us about your new show- Godh Bharaai.
It is a show that looks at adoption as an option for couples who aren't able to procreate in the natural way. When a couple does gather the guts to for adoption, the society doesn't spare them. What would've been a very affectionate and healthy relationship between the adopted child and parents, starts fraying because of the society's continuous taunts that the child is not related by blood.
What is your character like?
My character's name is Shivam Agnihotri. He has been married to Aastha (Pallavi Subhash) for five years but hasn't been blessed with a child. So family members get restless and the couple has to face some tough times. But Shivam is always supportive towards his wife and helps her through edgy situations.
Where were you all these days?
Well, I was busy with a film called Ghar Oundha produced by ABCL. I'm looking forward to its release. Then there was another film that sadly got shelved. I was also fiddling with the concept of hosting some travel shows etc. Then I took up the cameo in Bhaskar Bharti…so quite a few things kept happening.
What about Sai?
She was also busy with big screen projects. She recently completed directing a children's film.
Did you both decide and make this synchronized come-back to television?
(Laughs) Well, it sort of just happened that way.
After working together in so many shows, don't you wish Sai was the female lead here too?
Well, if I were the casting agent (smiles) I would have done whether it needed, to make that happen. It's true we had a rocking time working together in Saara Aakash, Nach Baliye and Ek Ladki Thi Anjaani Si when Kanchi Kaul was replaced by Sai. Who knows, something similar may happen here too (laughs) …just a wish!
What about plans of extending your family?
Let's see…no plans as such.
Many shows that you've done (Crime Patrol, Ek Ladki…) focus on social issues. Do you pick your shows on the basis of social relevance?
No not at all. As an actor I always want to experiment. I love to do roles like the Bihari Don in Bhaskar Bharti. And most of the television shows nowadays have one or the other social issue as its crux. It's not something peculiar.
And why do you associate more with Sony channel?
It is Sony waalon ki meherbani (Sony people' favor) on me (laughs).
What do you have to say about the rising demand of channels and production houses for new faces?
Well, I don't think everyone wants a new face for every role. If it's a college drama with love story angle, obviously one would like a fresh face. But if a show deals with menopause obviously the protagonist has to be a 48 year old actress who can allure the audience all through the show.
Sony's fiction shows really don't have a good track record. So why choose to make your comeback with their show?
I have always relied on Sony. I have good faith in the production house - Sphere Origin. They have always treated social issues very finely. They do so much research…more than any other production house I've seen. You know, they actually do research to see the relevance of that particular social issue among the audience. I feel they have achieved success because of that and so it never really got me thinking twice for signing this show.
Are you satisfied with your journey as an actor so far?
I was a full-fledged mechanical examiner with GE Capital in Delhi. But I was always into theatre as it's my interest. There was a time when I had to make a choice between shifting my base to San Francisco for a five year term or come to Mumbai to try my hand in acting. I took up the high risk option. But my risk has paid off and I'm happy.
You haven't been able to make a foothold in Bollywood.
Yes, I have to agree that I haven't been lucky when it comes to big screen. But Rajeev Khandelwal has been quite fortunate. It's not easy to get that kind of success in one's debut film…but things have been favorable for him. I'm happy some of us got the breakthrough.
Reporter and Author: Susan Jose