An actor par excellence, Deven Bhojani
has to his credit successful roles in films, television and theatre. Having explored all three mediums with equal ease, Deven has become popular as well as received critical acclaim for his performances.
He has been around for more than 25 years now and has been active in the entertainment industry as an actor and also as a creative director. While he has worked with other producers too, most of his work has been with Hats Off Productions which is owned by his producer duo friends - J D Majethia
and Aatish Kapadia
. He has done shows with them like Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, Baa Bahu Aur Baby
, Instant Khichdi, Alaxmi - Hamari Super Bahu
, Mrs. Tendulkar
amongst others. And now with the same production house he is ready to get into the character of Bhade in Zee TV
's upcoming show - Bh se Bhade which is based on noted Marathi novelist Va Pu Kale's character Bhade in one of his novels.
Deven who has played complex characters all the time throws light on his character of Bhade, "I play a middle aged man named as Mr. Bhade who has supernatural powers of taking over the problems of others for a temporary period. He does try to solve the problem and for each one the solution is different. He tries to take away the problem like when there is a man who gets very angry and all the time removes that anger on his family is about to get a heart attack due to his behavior. That is the time when Bhade takes it upon himself to solve his problem and takes the anger on himself. After 3-4 days the man realises how anger is bad for him and his family so by the time Bhade gives him his problem back he has realized his mistake."
And how does Bhade acquire this power? "Bhade has this inborn talent. We have shot the scene where it is shown that Bhade has this super natural quality since he was a baby. When he is in the hospital with his mom, a nurse who has a bad cold holds his hand and immediately baby Bhade starts sneezing which means that he has taken over her cold! Then we have shown him in school and the progression since then till he grows up."
This was the first time Deven had to portray such a role and talks about how difficult it was for him initially, "As an actor all characters are difficult but this one has been a little more difficult as compared to the rest. I have played the role of a 55 -60 man on stage but not on screen so it was difficult. Also the Shakti or supernatural power that Bhade has been shown to have it, is a different thing. We all had lots of meetings with the creative team which included JD, Sachin (the writer of the show), Aatish which helped grow the character."
Deven himself put in a lot of research into it too and his involvement in the creative aspects of the show helped him further develop the character nuances, "As it is I have a habit of observing people so I used to observe how people of this age group behaved and conducted themselves. I also used my own imagination and I would sit and think a lot about it all by myself. I then discussed my ideas with the creative team and we planned everything from how Bhade will walk, his laughter and mainly how he will feel for each and everything. So his gestures and reactions and his individual relations with his wife, boss and mother-in-law were all thought upon. Finally, we had workshops before we started shooting so I had lots of time to get ready and get into the character."
As Gattu in Baa, Bahu aur Baby, Deven has been a much loved and still remembered character. However, it is time he comes out of that role feels Deven, "I would like to thank the audience that they have liked Gattu so much. Otherwise also they have liked me in other roles but they have liked me more as Gattu but I have to grow and come out of it. I also feel that the audience too now wants to see me in a new character and I think Bhade is that character which is different from Gattu yet he provides family entertainment which will be liked by all."
We are sure Deven will make as good an impact as Gattu and will make the character of Bhade too as memorable for its innocent and entertaining nature!
Seema Khot Mattoo