The in-house TV awards for Star Plus shows is in its 10th edition this year. Smriti Irani, better known as Tulsi Virani, has been associated with the award show for eight years, but the reason she agreed to be part of it in its 10th year too, is because she’s a supervisor and doesn’t need to perform on stage.
For the actress, coming back to the show and the channel was like returning home. “I’ve gained a lot in my career from this channel. Even now, when I don’t have a single show on air and it’s been over two years since Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi ended, I’m just as respected and loved. Our bonding goes beyond our shows,” asserts Irani. So, would the jury member perform on stage? Irani laughs, “No performance for me please. I’ll be active behind the scenes as a supervisor. I can’t dance.”
Irani admits that when she walked in to the sets, where the promotional song for the awards was being shot, everyone stood in attention. “Ronit (Roy) laughed that I have a monstrous personality. Everyone gets scared of me when I’m around.” Buzz is that Irani, under her production company, Ugraya Telefilms, plans to produce a couple of shows for Star Plus. Irani admits that she has been in talks with the channel regarding two story ideas. “I can’t comment till they don’t give me a go-ahead. Our meeting is due,” she adds.
Rumours are that Irani is also expected to produce a show for Sab TV. She states that Anuj Kapoor from the channel had spoken with her regarding a few ideas a month ago. “I was in Gujarat recently when Mr Kapoor told me that he wants to meet me and take the idea forward. Once again, the meeting is due,” she says without letting out what the show, she’s in talks for, is all about. Show must go on Her on-going show on Sab TV, Maniben.com, was slotted to end almost three months ago. She says it’s a happy surprise that it has lasted over a hundred episodes, more than what it was expected to.
“It was only supposed to be a 104-episode show. It got an extension because it was delivering decent ratings in a slot dominated by very strong shows on competing channels. I can’t really say for how long Maniben will last on the channel though,” states Irani. Irani will also be debuting in a Bengali film opposite Victor Bannerjee. The project, she says, was being shot in Kolkata but has recently been shifted to the Ramoji Film Studio in Hyderabad because, “the director couldn’t handle the commotion on the sets everyday”.
The general public, she says, would crowd the sets and not let Bannerjee and her shoot. “I didn’t know that I had that kind of following in Kolkata. It’s humbling,” adds Irani. Currently, she isn’t shooting for the film because Bannerjee and her dates are being reworked so that they can be available to shoot in Hyderabad whenever the film’s next schedule commences.