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No saas bahu serials for me- Rati Pandey

Rati Pandey
Rati Pandey tells us that she refused Dulhan Banoo Main Teri because she does not want to bask in reflected glory by stepping into the shoes of a popular actress

What is your role in Miley Jab Hum Tum on air on Star One?
I play the role of Nupur, a small town girl, who is like a spark of electricity in the lazy town of Morena. Nupur is outspoken and extrovert and has the uncanny ability to chat and yap with any one irrespective of the gender, cast or language.

To what extent, are you able to identify with the character of Nupur in real life?
I can relate to the character 100% in real life because like me, Nupur, by virtue of her extrovert nature has friends all over the place effortlessly, be it school friends, college friends, net friends, bus stop friends,shopping friends and son on.

What did you like about the character the best?
What I like the best about the character is that she is a style icon of sorts, at least according to the small town standards. With an eye for detail in dressing, Nupur is the Diva in Morena, or at least she believes that she is

Why did you flip for the role when it was offered to you?
I wanted to do a young role in a youthful serial like Miley Jab Hum Tum after playing the role of a bahu like Prarthana day in and day out in a serial like Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai which was on air on Zee TV

Considering that you also hail from a small town, was it tough to convince your parents to let you take up acting?
I may have been born in a small town but the fact is that I have been brought up in a very liberal family where I was actually treated like a son by my parents.

Is it true that you are also a good singer?
I am also a singer. How good I am as a singer, only time will tell. In fact I was to come up with an album of peppy numbers with Piyush Soni but there has been an inordinate delay in the project. In any case, I prefer to go slow and steady instead of zooming to the top over night and crashing down with a thud shortly.

Does it mean that you do not want to do a saas bahu serial any more?
As an actor, I have always believed in taking up a wide variety of roles so that I am never bracketed with any image for the simple reason that I feel it is a cardinal sin to be type- cast since it limits your range as a performer. At least for the time being, I have sworn not to take up any more saas bahu serial, because you do not get variety if you get stuck with a saas bahu serial

Is it true that you turned down the offer to replace Divyanka Tripathi in Banoo Main Teri Dulhan, because it is also a popular saas bahu saga?
I did not turn down the offer to act in Banoo Main Teri Dulhan just because it is also a saas bahu saga. The reason I did not agree to be a part of the popular serial is that I was scared to replace a popular actress. I knew that if I step into the shoes of another actress who has made the character popular, I would not only invite comparisons but also there is the danger of me basking in reflected glory.

As an actor, are you open to do negative roles in serials?
If I am offered a role which is not only noticeable but also challenging to the core in a serial, I am game to do even a negative role. However let me reiterate that I do not want to be yet another vamp in yet another saas bahu serial

Why do you have this aversion to playing the vamp in a saas bahu show?
I do not wish to play the vamp in any saas bahu show for the simple reason that not only most of the actresses who play the vamp in saas bahu serials tend to have a loud make up, but they are also required to exaggerate their facial muscles by resorting to mannerisms of all kinds.

Is any vamp an exception to the rule, according to you?
I think the only exception to the rule is Kamiya Punjabi who I feel is doing a superb role in Banoo Main Teri Dulhan as the scheming vamp. Her plus point as an actor is that she does not play the stereotyped vamp and does not resort to mannerisms or any kind of exaggeration as an actor.

Have you acted in any other serial earlier besides Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai?
It was with the serial Shaadi Street, produced by Deepti Bhatnagar and directed by Rajan Shahi that I had actually made my debut as an actress in a TV serial. It is unfortunate that the serial is yet to come on air, though Rajan had shot around twenty-seven episodes of the show.

In what way was your role in Shaadi Street similar to the character that you play in Miley Jab Hum Tum?
Unlike Miley Jab Hum Tum, Shaadi Street was a family drama. However the character of Nandini that I essayed in Shaadi Street was a very bubbly one very similar to the character of Nupur that I am playing now in Miley Jab Hum Tum

Where did you vanish after Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai?
I was forced to take complete bed rest for almost four months after Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai was off air, when I had the misfortune of getting a ligament tear, while I was doing the rehearsals for the Zee Rishte Awards

Is it true that you declined to take part in Ekta's reality show Kabhii Pyaar Kabhii Yaar?
It is not true that I declined to take part in the reality show. Vineet, I and his girl friend were supposed to take part in the show. I was quite excited and had even learnt salsa for three months to prepare for the show with Vineet but at the eleventh hour, the production house had an issue with Vineet and both of us were dropped from the reality show. Right now, I am quite keen to be part of a reality show where I can show off my prowess not only as a dancer but also as a singer.

Are you also aiming at films too?
Yes. I am quite keen on taking up a career as actor in films too, now that I have gained experience as an actress by working in TV serials. However I feel that film is an altogether different ball game when you compare films with television serials. I know since I have already acted in two films in Telugu

How apprehensive are you as far as the casting couch is concerned?
Though I concede that any day TV is very safe as far as girls are concerned, I'd also say that how you are perceived or thought of all depends upon you as an individual. In any field, you will automatically fall a willing prey if you show desperation of any kind. As far as Bollywood is concerned, I am waiting for good offers from big banners.

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