'Gimmicks don't work on TV anymore!'


By Hindustan Times

New Delhi, April 3 -- Two years down, your show Bandini has been delivering satisfactorily without any gimmicks such as unnecessary leaps and people coming back from the dead?

At some point, these concepts helped salvage a show, but not anymore. Bandini had a 10-year leap but that was essential to the storyline, to help it proceed. It didn't happen because the storywriters ran out of ideas. Today, every producer understands that gimmicks don't work. Overdoing the real-life approach or an over-dramatised approach doesn't help. There has to be a balance.

And Bandini delivers on that?

I guess so. The consistent ratings and the consistency in the flow of the story at least make me believe that. In hindsight, didn't the show help you save yourself from being typecast as Mr Bajaj (Kasautii Zindagi Kay) and Mihir Virani (Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi)? I don't believe retrospection. Whatever I have done, has always been in the line of duty. I reinvented my looks in shows, I played characters twice my age, I directed a few episodes, adopted a crude Gujarati man's character and polished it with an accent. I don't think I did anything that another accomplished actor wouldn't do. This show helped me find acceptance, once again.

Your brother Rohit is making movies. Didn't he offer you one?

Rohit is doing a lot of hard work and good work. I am proud of him. But no, he never offered me anything. Another great offer came my way and I lapped it up. It was Anurag Kashyap's Udaan with Ram Kapoor. People who have seen the film from the industry, including a few top actors and filmmakers, have raved about it.

Three years in a row you were offered Nach Baliye. Game for the fourth time?

What a coincidence that was! My wife was never in a position for us to participate in that show. Now, my kids are growing up. I'm away most of the time. I can't deprive them of their mom. She'd rather be with them than kill herself over a reality show. I have done a few and I know how taxing it gets.