Akhilendra Mishra: My role as Raavan got extended in the show Ramayan because public said he can’t die so early
Actor Akhilendra Mishra goes down memory lane and recalls how it was playing the mighty role of Raavan in the 2008 show Ramayan.Updated: Oct 24, 2020, 15:12 IST
Playing a role as menacing as Raavan and yet end up getting immense love is something Akhilendra Mishra didn’t expect. He played the said role in Anand Sagar’s 2008 Ramayan.
Interestingly, the actor starts off by revealing that he almost didn’t take up the role. “I was shooting for three films, when I got a call. I said ‘I won’t be able to do it. Aravind Trivedi (who played Raavan in Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan) had marked the land, and left such an impact. But they insisted. I went to meet Anand, and while most meetings last for an hour at most, this one lasted for four hours,” he recounts.
Mishra, however, shares putting forth one condition — which he insisted should be included in his contract. He tells us, “I told them I’ll play this character however I want to, otherwise the creative team keeps interfering. This was a smart move on my part, and they agreed.”The 60-year-old also told the makers that he’d reach on set at 11am every day, not before that, because he’s go and sit in a Shiv temple in the morning to seek blessings.
Though Mishra got a lot of compliments from people, in some instances where aged people would call him and praise him, he says there was one scene where his character Raavan breaks down, which fetched him his biggest compliment.
“I got a call at night after the episode was telecast. Anand was on line and said his elder brother Subhash ji wanted to talk to me. He came on the line and said ‘Yeh tune kya kiya?’ I didn’t understand! He said ‘Raavan aisa bhi ho sakta hai? Tumhare dimaag mein kaise aaya? You have given the character a new dimension’,” Mishra recalls fondly.
The actor was originally signed on to play the role for six months, but the response he received changed that. Mishra says that he had even shot for the character’s death scene and wrapped up his portions.
“I got a call from the channel and Anand asking me ‘Have you given your dates to any other project?’ When I said no, they told me we’ll have to extend the track of Raavan for one more month, as he’s being killed too early. Public demand is that he cannot die this early. So, my shoot got extended for one more month,” he chuckles.
For Mishra, the love he got for this role will always remain special.
“I had played negative roles in the past too, in films such as Veergati (1995), show Chandrakanta and Ready (2011). I got love, and the same happened with Raavana. I played my role the way I wanted, and people liked it. I am fortunate that in my career I got a lot of good roles, and Raavan was one of them. I had prepared a lot, read so much,” he says.
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