'Jhalak...' makers wanted gossip, rivalry for TRPs: Bhagyashree

By Radhika Bhirani

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) Bhagyashree of "Maine Pyaar Kiya" fame put on her dancing shoes for the third season of reality show "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa" but became the first one to get voted out. She says the show was more about generating gossip and creating rivalry than about dancing alone.

"For me, 'Jhalak...' was a wonderful opportunity to learn dance. But after joining, I found out that it wasn't really just a dance reality show," Bhagyashree told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

"They wanted a strong element of gossip, rivalry, competition, flirting, etc and I couldn't get myself to be a part of all that. It's not me and it's not the way I have been brought up," she added.

Bhagyashree's presence on the show came as a surprise. The actress, who claimed to have two left feet when it came to dancing, says she accepted the offer because she was keen to "learn how to dance".

"When I was asked to participate, it was given that it is a programme where non-dancers would get to learn different types of dance forms and would then perform. But sadly, it didn't turn out to be so.

"People actually came up to me and said, 'Why don't you go ahead and just do something (gossip, backbiting) for TRPs?' For me, a reality show like 'Jhalak...' was supposed to be like its international counterpart 'Dancing With The Stars' - people fall and get hurt there for real, people get angry at their choreographers if they can't learn a step - but what was happening here put me off entirely," she said.

She disliked the way things were manipulated on the show. But Bhagyashree enjoyed working with her choreographer Toby Fernandes and performing on stage and says she won't mind going back to the show.

The show is going to have one of the evicted contestants to join back as the wild card entry and Bhagyashree says she would like to be the lucky one.

"I'm looking forward to the wild card entry because I had a fantastic choreographer and teacher in the form of Toby Fernandes. I have learnt dancing from him. The only thing I was upset about was they were trying to project me as someone else and I didn't like that. But I have forgiven them because I can't hold vengeance against anyone."

For now, the 40-year-old actress, who hails from Maharashtra, is excited about the release of her first ever Marathi film "Zhak Marli Bayko Keli".

In the film, Bhagyashree plays a woman whose husband gets romantically involved with another woman.

On being asked about her experience of doing the film, she said: "It feels wonderful to be doing a film finally in my mother tongue. I always looked forward to working in one but somehow it didn't work - either the script wasn't right or I didn't have dates or there was some or the other issue. So all these things made it nearly impossible for me to do any Marathi film."

Bhagyashree is also doing a Bollywood film titled "Red Alert - The War Within" along with Suniel Shetty.

She is looking forward to doing more films in Hindi because she feels "the industry today is booming with new themes and subjects that are being treated with a fresh perspective".

"A very different kind of cinema is being experimented with in the industry. So I would surely want to be back in Bollywood with something different."

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