It’s curtains for Virrudh next month..
Yeah, and I’m happy it’s going off the air. The track is drawing to a logical end. If we extend it further, the show will drag.
So, what’s next?
Nothing. I need a break from TV to concentrate on my films.Two of them are up for release.
Your previous innings on TV — Dhadkan—ended abruptly.Why?
I was busy with my films, The Legend of Bhagat Singh and Dum. Dhadkan started off on an interesting note but later, bowing down to pressure from programming heads, it turned into another saas-bahu show. My character became monotonous.
Virrudh too had to go rabidly commercial in the quest for TRPs.. didn’t that bother you?
It did, but I’m not the one making the show. So what I think hardly matters. I preferred Virrudh the way it had started out.
Do you enjoy working on TV?
No, I don’t like the medium much. It’s the way cinema used to be in the late ’80s and early ’90s. The filmmakers would add a thumka for Bihar, a fight scene for another state.. everyone was so insecure.
When directors like Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Ram Gopal Varma came on the scene with hatke films, they were ridiculed. But you need to give people a choice. We’ve spoilt them with mediocre drama.
<b1>But ‘different’ shows whether it’s Virrudh or Love Story, haven’t done well..
That’s no reason to be discouraged. Formula soaps will soon be out. Sure, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi is still the most popular show but Balaji’s new ventures aren’t doing so well.
That’s a sign that viewers want something different. Those who swore by Katha Sagar, Hum Log and Buniyaad are gone. We need to bring them back.
Moving on to films,why did you accept a role in Shikhar?
It was so.. ( Cuts in) Inconsequential. I took it up only because it was a John Mathew Mathan film. And it was a break from all those intense, negative roles.
You’re mostly seen in Ram Gopal Varma’s films..
I can’t say no to Ramu. He gave me a break with a bit role in Satya. Every couple of years, he calls me for a new film. I don’t ask any questions. I just say yes.
Have you ever been offered the lead?
I did play the hero in a small budget comedy. I think only 10 prints were released all over the country.
Which film are you talking about?
It was a badly made film. I’d rather not talk about it. But I do have another film coming up in which I play the lead. It’s a comedy produced by Sunil Doshi.
Will you ever do a reality show?
I was approached for Bigg Boss but I refused. Reality shows are meant to show the worst aspects of human beings. People’s weaknesses..them fighting and crying..I don’t really care for such negativity. But maybe I’ll do a dance show some day.
You’re also an artist, aren’t you?
( Laughs ) An artist who hasn’t sketched in a long time.
I don’t know.
Will you ever move behind the camera?
I’d love to direct some day.
A TV show?
Nope, a film. TV shows are so monotonous.. and there are so many time constraints.
Why aren’t you in Rajkumar Santoshi’s Halla Bol?
I don’t know. I guess he didn’t have a role for me.
You really enjoy death scenes. You are always dying in your films..
( Laughs )Yeah man. My directors love watching me die. It’s a challenge for me as an actor as well.
Your personal favourite death scene?
The ones in 16 December and The Legend of Bhagat Singh. Those were nice, heroic deaths. But I’ve had enough of death scenes. Now if any producer wants to kill me off, I refuse his film.