Shekhar Suman on the twists and turns in his career.. interviewed by Ruhail Amin
Did your TV spoofs on Simply Shekhar and Movers and Shakers rub people the wrong way?
Yes, but that wasn’t intentional. I was just doing the shows on national television as a host. You can’t even call me irreverent because that’s not the real me. If I had said no to the shows, someone else would have done them.
How are your equations with the head honchos of the channels?
Rocking. There was a period when there were cold vibes. That was because of the popularity of my shows. Now, the attitudes have mellowed. At one point you were the highest paid TV personality.
Of late, you seem to be going through a low phase.
That’s because I don’t want to repeat myself. Of late, I have been training as a singer. It’s not that I have great singing ambitions. The plain fact is that I don’t want to be categorised.
Your movies have been flops...right?
Well, that’s a fact. I’m not the only one to be blamed. I started out in the 1980s which were the lowest point in Bollywood’s history. Well, you can blame me too, since I did have shortcomings as an actor, somewhere along the line I got trapped in mediocrity.
How are your vibes with your first heroine?
Rekha? I consider myself lucky to have debuted opposite Rekha. But ever since Utsav, things have not been great between us. Since it was an erotic theme and I was a newcomer, an absolute nobody, a scribe wrote, “How Rekha Ruined a Newcomer’s Married Life.” There was not a hint of truth in that. But she read the article, the damage was done, and it hasn’t been repaired to date.
And you have never tried to clear things.
I wish I could hold Rekha’s hand and say sorry for whatever happened. I still carry a pain in my heart ever since the misunderstanding. I want to do a film with her to put an end to the years of bad vibes. I respect the way she has gone from one success to another. I think she is one of the most wonderful womaen in the film industry.
Shatrughan Sinha and you were buddies but of late there seems to have been a parting of ways.
Our friendship is not as good as it used to be,thanks to people who have poisoned his ears. Mr Sinha is like my elder brother, I would love to clear the air with him.
What’s your take on today’s TV comedy shows?
I think it was a phenomenon waiting to happen.
And reality television?
Well, the way reality shows are made in India, I would never like to be a part of them. Even international versions like the recent Big Brother show are far too melodramatic.
Which is the best and the worst TV show today?
I love watching news shows. Particularly those hosted by Rajdeep Sardesai and Barkha Dutt. If I was a reporter I would have aimed for their standards. As for worst, I don’t watch soaps. I can’t tell one from the other.
Would you ever act in soaps again?
I would.. provided it is a male-centric script. I cannot stand 20-year leaps that are introduced without any logic.
Are you referring to Ektaa Kapoor’s shows?
I am not singling out anyone.
What kind of roles do you want to do in films?
Negative roles. In fact, I am talking with a big banner about playing the lead antagonist. I believe negativity is a state of mind. It has nothing to do with the way you are and the way you look.