Can you talk a bit about your character in Kaali?
Thakraal is a man who enjoys money, muscle, people and political support. This unbridled power corrupts him and he wants to rule the world. He portrays himself as a good man, but is evil from inside just like many of our current leaders are. He will support anybody only till he/she is useful to him. You can call him a combination of modern day Raavan and Duryodhan.
Your character abuses woman what is your personal take on woman power?
I can't talk much about what Thakraal does with Rachna (lead girl), you better watch it yourself when it airs on Sept 13.
As for woman power, there is an old Hindi proverb which means that 'if a woman wants she can make your life heaven or make you go to heaven.'
We have heard that the show is based on Ruchika Gehotra abuse case?
Our story line is based on not one particular case but on several real life incidents. It is a comment on the current political and social scenario where you need to find the bad in the good. For times, have now changed and you cannot really classify anybody as just black or white.
Why did you choose this role?
If you take a look at my career, I have always attempted to different characters, e.g .my rapist character in Dushman was poles apart from Sangarash( Tantrik). I don't choose a character if it is positive or negative. It should have meat and it should take me ahead as an actor. My discretion in choosing roles has helped for often the media while trashing some of my films have said that Ashutosh Rana was good. At the same time, I agree that this reluctance to do more work has financial implications as well. I have to be happy with Audi while others roam around in Pajeros. But that is a personal choice and I am happy with it.
Are you happy with 11 pm slot is this slot because it has adult stuff?
No for by then most people will be free from all daily responsibilities and can watch the show with ease. And I don't think what our show is adult, for it reflects what happens in society. And the channel will anyways repeat it 2/3 times at slots as well. I wish to further point out that this time slot which till now has not been given enough respect is very good in the sense that large parts of non metro India which suffer from load shedding surely have power at this time of the night.
What is the USP of this show?
It is not a part of the kitchen conspiracy saga. Rather we have shown what happens on the streets with ordinary people. I am very sure that we will succeed as the public is tired of same old stuff.
But you never know what clicks with the audience and what does not?
Well if that happens the audience is at fault. They then can't blame the producers for not thinking out of the box. We will only give what you want right.
You have never distinguished between TV and films?
Yes I have always dabbled in both. Content is again the key in both. People still remember Tyaagi from Swaabhimaan. My dedication to do good work has paid off. I was given Sarkaar Ki Duniya , it was something completely unique. The mounting was huge. It is another matter that the show did not work due to channel issues. I also hosted the male vs female face off i.e. Baazi Kiski.
I have always made it a point to stay away from the mundane. Every year Colors asks me to be a part of Big Boss and they keep requesting till the slots are filled.
You have not been seen much on films?
Yes I have had 2 releases in the recent past Coffee House (Sakshi Tanwar) and Summer of 2007. The later was based on farmer suicides. The reason for not doing more work is that once you have done quality work you only want to raise the bar and not go backwards. I have a couple of other projects goings on but will discuss them at a later stage.
Reporter & Author: Anil Merani