Vineet Raina in a marathon chat with Rachana Dubey.
What’s keeping you busy this week?
Depends. If we have a shooting schedule for Maa, I will be with my crew members on the set for most part. If not shooting, then I’ll be chilling out.
Why haven’t you taken on another show apart from Maa?
Because, at the outset, Maa’s schedules were very hectic for me to take on another show. It’s only now that the working days and hours have relaxed a bit. I can now consider taking on another show. Maa takes up half a month. With dailies, a lot depends on which track is the frontrunner at the moment.
Weren’t you apprehensive about taking on a negative role?
This is my first dark role. But believe me, I’ve been very comfortable with it since day one. (Laughs) Imagine, I’m a wolf in a sheep’s skin.
I am supposed to have killed my elder brother for his property. And if that wasn’t enough, I’m now hoping to marry my bhabhi, so I’ll have complete control over the business. I’d never have thought about something like this in real life but here I am enjoying the process.
And that too after Maayka.. in which you had a positive role?
Yes. After Maayka, I was only offered hero roles which I didn’t want. I sat home for nearly three months. When Maa came my way, I was relieved that I was being trusted with such role. I’m hated.. and I love it!
Would you want to return to Maayka now?
Sure, I’d love to make a comeback. I had been around TV for a while but it was Maayka which gave me an identity.
Veer was loved to bits. One fine day, I was told that things weren’t shaping up well.. and the production house decided to give me a grand exit.
I’ve heard that you keep your colleagues in splits with your mimicry. Why don’t you try your hand at a comedy show?
I was offered Comedy Circus. But back then I had both Maayka and Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai on hand. I refused Comedy Circus because I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle that much. (Smiles) In fact, I’d landed the offer through a friend in the channel who knew that I mimic people very well.
Do you still mimic?
Of course! It helps keep the atmosphere at work light and easy. After nearly 12-hour-long shifts, all of us are exhausted. Imitations bring a smile. And I feel the technicians on daily soaps have a depressing life.. they start work before actors do and their work ends after we actors have left. So, I entertain them too.. it makes them happy.
Anyone you like to mimic in particular?
I think that I’m good at pretending to be Sanjeev Kumar and Nana Patekar.. and I’ve been told that too. I’ve heard that I get their body language and their diction right. As a kid, I had a habit of mimicking everyone who came to my house. I’d observe guests and other relatives carefully. Then, after they left, I would mimic them before my parents and they would laugh at it.
Why didn’t you do another movie after Janani?
I did Janani, because I desperately needed the money to survive in Mumbai. I received a couple more film offers but I didn’t take them on. Films take at least six months to get going. I didn’t have that much steam to keep me going. I opted for TV instead. And I don’t regret that decision today though I would want to do a movie sometime.
Okay, when are Tanushree Kaushal and you getting married?
I’m not sure when it will happen but I’ll let you know whenever it does.
And is she fine with that?
She adjusts. Which girl wouldn’t? Right now, our priorities are our careers. We’re not thinking about marriage right now.