Trends on TV change often, resulting in either the cast being replaced, or shows being axed within weeks. So, it’s refreshing to see that some actors have been a mainstay on some soaps.
While such a scenario has its positives, there is a downside too, say some actors, who have only starred in the shows they debuted with.
Fame and financial security are among the many benefits of starring in a long-running show. Shashank Vyas, who has been playing Jagya in Balika Vadhu for five years, says his debut vehicle has given him a huge fan following. "It’s an achievement to be known by your character’s name; there are a hundred shows on TV, but you are able to stand out. Earlier, being stuck in an image was an issue, but not today. You can experiment and deviate from your previous roles," he adds.
Shashank Vyas has been playing Jagya in Balika Vadhu for five years now.
For Deepika Singh, who has been starring in Diya Aur Baati Hum for four years, such a scenario helps an actor build confidence and fine-tune his or her talent. Even Hina Khan feels lucky to be playing Akshara in Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai for the past six years, because "so many actors struggle for work, and shows go off air every month."
On the contrary
Deepika rues that, at times, viewers associate her only with her character, and don’t even know her real name. She adds, "We end up shooting for 28 days a month, with no days off, even if we are unwell. Thankfully, since I stay close to the sets, I save time on travelling. But I end up doing my basic grooming at night; my parlour girl comes over post 11 pm. Preventing breakouts is also difficult, given the make-up and harsh lights that we shoot in."
Deepika Singh in Diya Aur Baati Hum
Hina has declined reality TV show and film offers due to lack of time. "Whatever big has happened on TV in the last five years has been offered to me, but I can’t let my show suffer," she says.
Disha Vakhani, who has been playing Daya Ben in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah for seven years, adds, "At times, you start taking your role for granted, and this can affect your performance."
Tina Dutta, who played Iccha in Uttaran for six years, says, "Many friends told me to try something else, but I was never bored. Even after fainting and being hospitalised, I have reported to the shoot the next day."