Funnylady Archana Puran Singh on the comedy business, TV hostesses and Jalwa 2.. interviewed by Rachana Dubey.
How come you're judging a comedy show?
You mean Comedy Circus? Yeah, it sounded interesting to me. It's a comedy contest where a popular TV celebrity will pair with a professional stand-up comedian. There will be about 12-13 pairs that will compete against one another. There will be eliminations every week.
But isn't there competition from Laughter Challenge on Star One. Also, Sony's comedy shows have not worked in the past.
I don't think there will be any competition here. There are many reasons for that. One, that the formats of the shows are poles apart. Laughter Challenge showcases only professional stand-up comedians. My show has them paired opposite TV stars, whom you may never find laughing or cracking jokes. Two, the shows are aired on different time slots and different days.
Why aren't you doing as much work on TV as you did earlier?
I'm glad people miss watching me but I have a life. Actors in the TV industry make their profession their life. I don't understand how anyone can shoot for 365 days a year. I can't. I have a family to attend to, my children are growing up. They deserve my time more than anyone else.
I'm working five days a month. The rest I'm spending with my family. I'm not missing work at all.
Your show, Wah Kya Scene Hai established you as a hostess.
Yeah, Wah Kya Scene Hai made its mark. Today, the hosting business has changed dramatically. These days, hostesses are more of sexy bimbettes..with a great cleavage and super sexy legs that can be shown off. That's all they do.
Fortunately, I was not in that category at all. These young girls don't make sense when they talk. They only know how to look pleasing.
News is that you're doing Jalwa 2 with Naseeruddin Shah for director Pankaj Parashar.
Whoever told you that? I haven't been approached for any such film by Pankaj. I don't know if Naseer has been approached either.
Even if its Jalwa 2, I don't think it would have anything to do with the original film. If at all a sequel is being planned, I'd love to see Kangana Ranaut in my role.
Do you think you were underused in films?
Not at all. I was never ambitious about my acting career. I've done as much work as I could to earn the kind of money I wanted to. I was offered less. I did less work. That doesn't mean I was underused.
Your film career took off well. Why didn't you do more films as a lead actress?
You must ask producers and directors who didn't cast me for reasons best known to them.
I'm not too passionate about my acting career. I came into this profession because I wanted to earn enough money so that I could live life on my terms, the kind required to live life queen-size.
(Chuckles) I'm still a costly actress. I work once in a while and make as much that I don't fall short of it with my kind of lifestyle. Whether it's heroine roles or comic ones, everyone is aware of my acting abilities. I don't ask for work. I take up projects that come my way.
You were also seen in negative roles in films. I'm still open for villainous roles.. but there should be someone ready to cast me in those roles. If you ask me, I think I can do any kind of role with absolute ease.
Ever thought of making a career in dance.. especially after Nach Baliye?
(Laughs) Trust me, I'm a bad dancer.. in fact a horrible one. I'm a fine actress though. You must call up Sarojji (Khan) or Farah Khan and ask them if Archana is a good dancer. They'll agree with what I say.. though they'll swear by my hardwork. I could dance in Nach Baliye because I worked doubly hard on it.
Are you doing theatre right now?
I've turned down theatre shows by the dozen. There's immense hard work but very little money in theatre. The day theatre starts paying well, I'll do it. I've done it earlier, spent a lot of time and energy on it.. my shows were hits too.
How do you look at your marriage ?
A decade and half has whizzed by in a blink. Neither I nor my husband Parmeet realised that. Mine is a fairytale marriage.. there are several physical proofs of that all over the place.
I married against odds but it worked. At the end of this month, it'll be 15 years of togetherness. I couldn't have asked for a better husband and father for my kids.
Where do you think is your husband's career going?
Oh no, no. I can't comment on that. The last time I did, I was grossly misquoted. It upset Parmeet.
What about your children?
Aryamann is 11 and Aayushmann is 8. Aryamann wants to be soccer player. Aayushmann is inclined towards painting and craftwork. We're making sure we provide them with everything they need for that.
How come Parmeet and you are not making public appearances together?
That's because my mother is not in town right now. (Giggles) The staff situation at home is also not good. I can't leave my kids alone at home.
There was some gossip recently about you gobbling away at a party?
Hello? Why can't people mind their own business? People should feel happy that at a time when no one eats, I'm eating away to glory. Someone out there is too concerned about me, I guess.