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Amar Upadhyay returns to screen

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Mumbai (UNI): Tele star Amar Upadhyay, who returns to primetime with Ravi Chopra's Viraasat after a long hiatus, gave up the charm of the TV world for the fickle and slippery one of films but has no regrets about it. Speaking to UNI, Amar Upadhyay said, ''I left Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi (KSBKBT) because it was due for a 20-year leap. I did not want to put grey in my head as I was doing films too and my audience would not have accepted me as playing father to a 27-year- old.'' Lady luck has smiled on him again in the form of Viraasat, a serial produced by BR Films, where he plays an IAS officer.

Amar, who is excited about his role, says, ''I lost a lot of weight to look, walk and talk like the part. I am not giving 100 per cent of myself to the role, I am giving 300 per cent. This is one of the best roles that have happened to me.'' Putting all talks of a rift between him and TV producer Ekta Kapoor to rest, he further said, ''Doing a show with Balaji is like working with Yash Chopra. Ekta Kapoor is one of the best producers we have today. She knows what she wants. She is hardworking, aggressive, a thorough professional who knows the pulse of the audience. I, despite being a man, cannot work the way she does for 20 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is an honour to be associated with this kind of work.'' When asked about the reports that he was supposed to play one of the members of the fourth generation of Viranis in the second 20-year leap of KSBKBT that went on air yesterday, Amar clarified he never heard from anyone from Balaji Telefilms. They were just rumours.

He says, ''When I worked with Balaji I worked blindly as I trusted Ekta completely. Right now, I am working on 5 Bhojpuri films, and one big Hindi film. I am superstitious, so I will speak about them when the time is right.'' Amar has worked in three films - Dhund-The Fog, Wah Wah Ramji and the multistarrer LoC by J P Dutta. Amar said he had nothing much to do in LoC as it had a huge starcast.

After his films flopped, Amar did a few serials with Sahara Television but the big break came in the form of Viraasat About his dream role, Amar says he admires Gabbar Singh in Sholay. ''The role was so larger than life that after playing Gabbar, Amjad Khan could never break away from that image. The same goes with Tulsi alias Smriti Irani. There has been no role bigger than Tulsi.'' His favourite co-stars are Sangita Ghosh and Smriti Irani as they went back a long way. Amar was a winner of the Stardust Academy contest where the three entrants chosen out of 70,000 entries were Sonali Bendre, Divya Dutta and himself.

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