TV tycoon Ekta Kapoor openly admits that Prachi Desai, the protagonist in her soap Kkasam Se and the winner of the Jhalalk Dikhla Jaa title, is her most favourite actor at Balaji Telefilms.
"I'm so thrilled she has won Jhalak Dikhla Jaa. Prachi is my blue-eyed baby. I wish her absolutely the best in life," Ekta told IANS in an interview.
Ekta also thinks that Prachi, who appears in the movie Rock On, has a strong resemblance to newcomer Sonam Kapoor.
"Prachi is so much like Sonam in looks and personality," said Ekta.
Which were your favourite films of 2007?
I loved both Saawariya and Om Shanti Om. Although Sanjay Bhansali and Farah Khan were rivals, I really love both of them.
You've been copying the colours and shot-takings of Bhansali's Saawariya in one of your new soaps.
Yes, the show is called Kya Dil Mein on 9X. It's a love story set in a Bengali family. It's my first drama, as opposed to soaps. It's a 60-episode serial. I've adapted it from two novels.
This year I've fallen in love with two filmmakers Sanjay Bhansali and Farah Khan. Sanjay's work I've always loved. He didn't disappoint me with Saawariya.
What about the two newcomers - Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor?
I'm so proud of Ranbir. I always thought he was the over-privileged boy with the golden spoon. When I saw him I was shocked, I SMSed him. And Sonam Kapoor is my kid. Her mom and I were very close friends.
When we had time on our hands, we used to take long walks together. Sonam was only 13, and so tall and pretty. I was very protective towards her. And Prachi Desai, my kid at Balaji. I'm so thrilled she has won Jhalak Dikhla Jaa. Prachi is so much like Sonam in looks and personality.
Why is Prachi being launched in movies by Farhan Akhtar?
See, Prachi is my blue-eyed baby. I wish her absolutely the best in life. Not just me, my mom and dad also think she's a wonderful actress and a lovely human being. We'll definitely do movies with her after she finishes Farhan's film.
Gattu (Abhishek Kapoor), who is directing Farhan's film with Prachi, is my first cousin. So it's all in the family.
You read extensively for inspiration for your soaps?
I used to read a lot when I was younger. Kahiin To Hoga was very strongly inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Now I've a team reading, but I prefer to pick up ideas from real life. Soaps made from novels become more of sagas.
So now you've started delegating responsibility instead of running a one-woman show?
I've got thorough professionals to take care of every department. You know, it's a myth that I don't like to delegate responsibilities at Balaji. Find me the right executives and I'll happily let them do their job. I know nothing about event management. I've these wonderfully capable minds and I follow them blindly.