Monday, April 16, 2007
Apara Mehta talks about her role in 'Virrudh' and the experience of playing mom-in-law to Smriti Irani once again.
You have joined 'Virrudh' as Sushant Singh's mother and once again as the mother in law of Smriti Iraani?
Smriti and I make a great pair. Our chemistry has always worked and that is the reason as to why I think once again I have been asked to work with her.
In between there were rumours that there was a fall out between you and Smriti?
See, there was nothing as such between me and Smriti. We have always had a good relationship and we have worked together for so many years. We have never come in each other's way, so why should we have any problem with each other.
Did you take up Virrudh because of your rapport with Smriti?
Actually I was cast a long time back but was asked to keep mum. Smriti knows what I'm capable of. I have done so many serials in the past. It has been non-stop television for around ten years now. I have also been doing theatre for a very long time now. So Smriti kept in mind the image that I have and offered me such a role. In the beginning I was sceptical about taking up the role since it is totally deglamourised, where I do not wear any jewellery or make-up. But I trusted Smriti and since the role was challenging and the script was good, I took it up.
How is Smriti as a producer and an actress?
Smriti is really doing very well as a producer. She is managing things very well. She always has her script ready before hand, so that the actors do not have to go through any kind of trouble. Everything is well prepared beforehand. There is no problem what so ever. As an actress, Smriti is brilliant.
Now that you have found out that Vasudha is Dhirendra's daughter, what is going to happen next? Will your character change?
Yes, now that I have found out that Vasudha is Dhirendra's daughter, there will be a twist. I will want Vasudha to marry my son so that I can trouble Dhirendra. In an upcoming episode, you will watch me go to Dhirendra's house and literally tear him to pieces in my own sweet calm tone. It will be worth watching. Vikram (on screen Dhirendra) had literally told me that I have a strong voice.
How has been the experience so far on Virrudh?
The experience has been good so far. But to tell you the truth, I had difficulty portraying the role since it was so different. Achint (Kaur) and I are together in Karam Apna Apna too. So, she always told me that I'm having a problem grasping the character and I used to wonder why. After joining the serial I came to know that the requirements are very high from the actors and since you are working with some brilliant actors, you always have to be on your toes.
Your character as Kukki Kakisa in Saat Phere was scheduled for a comeback? So does Virrudh rule out such a possibility?
Yes there were talks and I really do not know what is going to happen. I really liked my character in Saat Phere. According to me it was the best written negative character. Though it was a three-month cameo, it got extended to four months. I would like to be back.
How do you manage your time considering that fact that you are into three dailies?
Presently I'm working in three serials. First is Solhaah Shringar where luckily I do not have too much of a screen time. So according to my time availability, I'm put on and off. Then there is Karam Apna Apna and Virrudh. I have also been doing a lot of theatre and have been very busy. But I'm managing my schedules well.
You have worked with Ekta Kapoor and also outside. So what is the difference?
Once an actor works for Balaji, he or she has trouble working elsewhere. At Balaji you get pampered. Though the next day's script is decided just the previous day and sometimes dates do get haywire but everything else balances it. Out side, everything is organized but one does not get the kind of treatment you get at Balaji. So there is little trouble adjusting initially.
Have you thought of becoming a producer?
(Laughs) why should I take the trouble of running behind actors? I'm better off as an actor.
Your take on the Indian television industry?
Yes this is a very appropriate question that you have asked. I have been working in television since the past 10 years. I have seen a change in the industry. First it was Kyunki... which changed the definition of television making it bigger. Today any 'A' grade actor from television can be compared to a film star. The level has raised so much. Family and social serials work. See Kyunki... for example. Since it deals with the concept of a family and society, it is doing well. So anything that people can relate to will work. Same goes for Virrudh. If it works, it will bring in another change in television with the way a contemporary concept is dealt with. It has substance in the script and is different from other serials.
Is your daughter going to take up acting?
Yes, my daughter has written a drama and is also acting in it. I'm happy the way she has dealt with such a serious topic at the age of twenty-one. I first want her to do a lot of theatre, so that she becomes a good actor and then she can take up television. But I think that she will be better as a script writer which is more her cup of tea. The drama is a super hit and we have done around thirty-six shows in thirty days. See any script writer or a director should also be a good actor, so that he can understand thing better; even from the point of view of the actors.
So do you feel that theatres make actors better?
Yes they do,the detailing that is there in theatre helps an actor greatly. Moreover, there is more freedom in theatre as an actor, so one can improvise. This greatly helps when you work for television. Look at the actors of Ba Bahoo aur Baby, most of them are either from Marathi or Gujarati theatres. See their performance. The detailing in theatres is not there in television.
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