Tele superhero Shaktimaan made actor Mukesh Khanna a household name. The 53-year-old actor, who also played Bhishma Pitamah in the TV version of the Mahabharata, now returns to the small screen with a key role in Pyaar Ka Dard Hai that launches on June 18 on Star Plus.
“I haven’t done satellite TV in a long time, though I starred in a TV show on DD called Soutela. Today, most roles are mere repetition. Everyone is playing a saas, bahu or nanad (sister-in-law). The sasur (father-in-law) simply stands in a corner, doing nothing. I didn’t want to do that,” he says.
Recalling a previous instance, Khanna says, “When Mahabharat was on air, I was offered Saudagar (1991). I asked director Subhash Ghai, ‘with Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar in the film, what will I do?’ I want a role that will make an impact. If you are casting me, the role has to be dramatic and have powerful dialogues. I know what I am capable of.”
Explaining why he accepted the new show, produced by Rajshri Productions, he says, “I play the role of Purshottam Deewan, the lead character Aditya’s Nanaji (grandfather). There are no saas-bahus, or balika vadhus on this show. Aditya doesn’t want to wed, as he doesn’t understand marriage. His parents live separately and bicker a lot.”
Khanna claims his character is a Super Nana, a happy-go-lucky, lively man who binds everyone together. “Having shot 15 episodes, I am happy with the role and the show,” he adds.
It’s been 10 years since it last aied, but Khanna reveals that Shaktimaan will be revived. “It will air on Pogo in October,” he says. “I have joined the gym and am losing weight to match the earlier Shaktimaan avatar. But he will be a modern superhero with new gadgets and technology matching today’s times.”
Khanna also says that a 3D film will be made, based on the superhero: “The details are being worked out with some corporate houses. We also plan to bring out merchandise when we launch the show and the film.”