Ekta Kapoor is almost always in the news — either for her TV shows or her films.
Having delivered many hit soaps over the past decade, her success in the TV industry has been unrivalled. But it has also earned her brickbats, mostly owing to the conservative domestic settings of her shows.
But the TV producer couldn’t be bothered. The latest is that she is basing one of her upcoming shows, Ye Hai Mohabattein , on a book.
We talk to her about this and more.
Do you think that it is because of you that your shows usually make news?
I’ve no idea. It’s the shows that make me, not vice versa. I feel TV shows should be low-key. Too much talk ruins prospects. I get very paranoid when there is too much talk about my shows.
You bought the rights to Manju Kapur’s book, Custody, for your new show, but will not be following the entire story. Why is that?
You have to give credit to your inspiration. I’ve admired Manjujifor years. She’s a fabulous-but-underrated writer. I have made dramatic changes in characterisations but kept the story intact.
Cezanne Khan was supposed to make his comeback with this show. What went wrong?
The dates kept changing and he wanted to go to America when we were about to start the show, so we had to part ways. Cezanne is a brilliant actor. I wish him well.
Why haven’t you made shows that have a rural setting?
I have Bandini and Bairi Piya. But I am more comfortable with urban stories. I don’t get it (rural settings) and I don’t want to do a show that is synthetic. Such shows are usually based on stories that are hearsay as most people don’t know the characters or haven’t seen them in real life. Maybe it might work for a writer from a small town, but not me.
Your other show, Jodha Akbar, created news when 90 crew members walked out. Lead actor Rajat Tokas’s attitude too has kept it in the news.
(Smiles) He’s a young boy and I think we should give him some time. He doesn’t have the best social skills due to which he gets misunderstood. As far as 90 people leaving the show goes, it was a crucial decision for us to let them go rather than get bullied.
Buzz is that Bade Achche... will go off air. Is that true?
No, that’s not true.
Filmstars are acting on TV — be it Anil Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan or even Jaya Bachchan. Will we see you casting a known film actor in any of your shows?
If there is a show where a film star will fit, then maybe. But I don’t think film stars will work on TV because here, only characters work. If they manage to create a symbiotic relationship with the audiences via a character, then why not?
A question you have been asked numerous times?
‘What do you prefer — TV or films?’ I am asked this all the time.
A question you don’t like to answer?
‘When will you get married?"
Which shows do you like on TV currently?
Mahadev is very popular and I know many people who love it. My mom is a Balika Vadhu fan and my brother watches Bigg Boss.
An actor who you feel is popular?
Ram Kapoor and Sakshi Tanwar. I feel Kapil (Sharma) is also very successful. He is an actor more than a character.
What topics would you like TV shows to touch upon?
Social norms like acceptance of women in different roles. The pressure of becoming a mother on a married woman is immense. These are the issues we have dealt with in YHM.