He has been entertaining the audience for more than a decade and continues to do so even today, as the mighty ACP Pradhyuman in Sony TV and Fireworks Productions' long running show, CID. He is an institution in himself with an experience in theater, films and television. Yes, we are talking about the talented actor Shivaji Satam..
Excerpts from the interview!!!
Your show has been running for more than 13 years now, how does it feel?
It feels great.
People know you as ACP Pradhyuman rather than Shivaji Satam. Does that bother you or do you take it as a credit?
I don't think I am ACP Pradhyuman, for in a wider spectrum CID is not the only show I did and have been associated with movies too. Children do recognize me as ACP Pradhyuman because that's the image I have created. Likewise even today people recognize Sean Connery as the first James Bond. Knowing me as the ACP is always a credit because that's a character that gave me a lot of recognition.
For the past two years the team has been organizing CID Gallantry awards, what is the inspiration behind it?
This is one of the supreme ideas the channel has put forth where there are a panel of judges to decide the winners. The main agenda was to honor people who have done their part of bravery to the needy. Even though there is the National Bravery Awards awarded by the President, we believe that there are others also out there who have proved their bit of bravery. We believe that whoever has taken even a minute attempt to show bravery should be appreciated, be it a person who has saved a child from drowning, or a person who has helped a lady whose chain has been snatched, a person who is looking after an orphan etc. We would like to appreciate all those, who for an instance, have forgotten about their life and has dedicated their self for others, be it in any form. Rather than the financial benefit, it is the appreciation that means a lot for them. Our goal is good in that way.
Recently you shot in places like Paris and Switzerland. How was the experience?
The experience is always different whenever the location changes. There was no enjoyment like how we go for a vacation because we had gone for a job and we completed and returned. But the time we spent there was great.
You have been playing this character for years; have you ever got tired of it?
Not at all, will you ever ask this question to Sachin Tendulkar? (Laughs) When you are given a role in which people recognize you so much and it has already become a major part of your life, you never get tired of it. I feel blessed to get a role of this stature, and it will be there with me for lifetime.
Many new faces came and left the show, what is your take on that?
That's the way it happens all the time, the character Tasha also happened the same way. When Vaishnavi got an exciting offer she left the show. But the connection will always be there because the show has provided a platform for her where she learned her basics. She learned the way to carry herself in a show and she interacted with her seniors where she learnt well from them. If one gets in the company of the seniors you imbibe from them consciously or subconsciously.
You have been into movies and theater also, what do you enjoy most?
Doing theater is definitely a challenge because there are no retakes given to you and your first shot should be the best and the last. And being on the edge is always fun and the feeling of butterflies inside your stomach will still be there. And even today the nervousness is always there before every shot because if the first is not delivered properly then it might bother you.
My family is always the priority for me and when I am off camera with make-up removed, it is Shivaji Satam back to self and that has not changed till now.
Television shows are now going to any extent to raise TRPs, but CID has never been affected by it. What is the secret?
The show has always been for family viewing and the characters are portrayed for them where the plot is consistent. Those aspects of the show have not changed all these years and people still love us for this. But at the same time in reality shows people are contesting for themselves and are not consistent.
Recently, the viewers were upset with the death of Tasha in the show. Vaishnavi Dhanraj, has bagged a lead role in a show on TV. How was the parting with her?
As I said earlier, that's the way it goes and she left because she had received a better offer. She was really very nice and we wish her all the best.
How is it being part of Fireworks Productions?
Fireworks Productions is just a name for me because the relationship I have with Pradeep and B P Singh is more than that of a producer and actor. We have known eavh other since many years right from the days he had started producing Marathi movies. Being in the company of them is great because working with friends is very satisfying and now the production company is like a second home for me.
What kind of a rapport do you share with B.P. Singh Sir and how is it working with the institution by name B.P. Singh?
B P Singh is one of the technicians that we have in the industry today who is a person with great control on the genre, screenplay and editing; he very well knows what story to tell in what manner to the audience.
Now that CID has lost Tasha, will you have any inclusions in the team?
If the team thinks that there is a need for an inclusion of a new officer then we will definitely have an addition.
We are looking forward for him in the show and we wish him good luck and I believe he deserves to be in the top finals of the show. I just want to tell him that whatever he does, he should enjoy it to the core.
ACP Pradhyuman, because I believe that everybody should love their characters, and in the show we are so comfortable, that all the characters are fond of each other. There are no ego clashes and we help each other out taking good care. We also have our fun part of time, off camera, gossiping and hogging.
Nothing as of now because I just completed my son's movie Happus where he is the Producer and the Director.
How do you usually manage dates for CID and films?
CID has always been priority and whenever films come to me, it is made sure that they take up the dates well in advance, so that I can discuss it with the production team and schedule the shooting.
There are a lot of interactions that I shared with people especially with kids and there have been moments wherein I had been gifted the idol of Ganapati which I even keep now.
It could be that way since I have been getting responses from everywhere. But at the same time the show is not only meant for kids but also for the elderly too, so they also constitute the viewership.
There will definitely be novelty in the coming episodes and discussions are already on about the new elements. But that will be a surprise for all the viewers.
Your message to CID loyalists
I love you all and keep watching the show like always. Also I wish all of you a Very Happy Christmas and New Year.
God forbid, but if you ever had to pass on the baton of ACP Pradhyuman to someone else, who would it be?
I have never thought about it till now and I do not want to share the title with anyone.
Reporter and Author: Saranya Valsarajan