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Big star on the small screen

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

He was busy with his political career all this while, and had taken a self-imposed sabbatical from films. This makes his second debut on the small screen all the more exciting. Second, because he had shot for 'Maharana Pratap', which was to be aired on Doordarshan twelve years ago, but never did. Vinod Khanna, the movie star of yesteryears, stars as Kashinath Pandey in 'Mere Apne', on 9X.

So how did he suddenly decide to get into television? There is the money, of course, but there is something else, too. The actor explains that he felt the need to satisfy the demands of his fans who have been asking to see more of him. "All said and done, I cannot forget the fact that today I am what I am only because of the support and encouragement that my fans have given me," he says. In fact, when he made his debut as a film actor, more than four decades ago, he played a negative role. However, he managed to garner a steady fan following even then.

The senior actor is very comfortable with the medium of television, and attributes this to his experience in films. He also thinks that television is tougher. "You have to be on your toes all the time because there is a deadline, unlike in films, where you can afford to work in leisure," he adds. And how does he deal with the pressure? He does not feel any pressure, he claims, since his habit of meditating calms him.

Vinod Khanna is surprised at the kind of money that a producer spends, but he realises that it is necessary. "I am of the opinion that more the channels, more the competition, and therefore more the money for the actor," he says, with a laugh. He adds that the medium does not scare him away because he was always on television anyways. "Most of the films I have acted in are now being shown on television quite often," he elaborates.

In Smriti Irani's "Mere Apne", Kashinath Pandey lives in Benaras with his wife and four children – Aditya, Shankar, Vrinda and Rahi. He is a respectable and righteous man, who wants his son Aditya to become a doctor, and to run a charitable hospital in the city. His daughter, Vrinda, is the apple of his eye, and he will do anything not just for her, but for the entire family.

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