Ashutosh Rana flagged off his acting career with the daily soap
on Doordarshan, back in the 1990s. He followed up with a few more serials like
before moving to films. The actor is back on TV again with Kali. He plays the villain, Thakral, on the Star Plus show that airs on September 13.
Buzz is that the character has been modelled on
’s Gabbar Singh but Rana denies it. “There’s isn’t much similarity. Thakral is a Mahabali, blessed with physical strength, intelligence and wealth. He controls the political system and influences everyone but is also a do-gooder. But it’s nice to be compared to Gabbar, one of the most popular villains in Hindi cinema,” he smiles.
Rana has two young school-going sons. How did they react to the news that daddy was turning bad again? “Since the show will be aired at 11 pm, it will have a largely adult base. But my sons need to understand that their parents play characters on screen that are very different from what they are like in real life,” he reasons.
He adds that his family was unaffected when he played the rapist postman Gokul Pandit in
or Lajja Shankar Pandey in
and Mallik in
. “Whether positive or negative, my roles have always been
(different. I never accept a character I’ve played before,” he asserts.
The actor says he has had enough of the kitchen politics. “Now, it’s time to take politics to the kitchen,” he grins. “We’ve not had a political drama on TV in a long time. Kali will fill the void too and draw audiences to the late night prime slot. They have finished their daily chores and are watching news or cricket matches by then.”
Rana will also start work on a new film in October but refuses to divulge details apart from the fact that the movie releases towards the end of the year. “It’s a political drama too. There’s also a comic caper with David Dhawan and a satire called Ata Pata Lapata. My plate is full,” he says.
Wouldn’t he want to work with his wife Renuka, also an actor-writer-director, on a film? “She’s already working on a project that toplines me,” informs Rana. “I wanted to be part of her debut film but it was in Marathi and my command over the language isn’t great. This film is in Hindi. We’ll start work on it once Renuka has locked the script.”