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I miss playing Tulsi: Smriti Irani

Telly actor-producer Smriti Irani's new soap Mere Apne airs today on 9X channel. Diganta Guha talks to the actor.

tv Updated: Nov 17, 2007 16:14 IST
Diganta Guha
Diganta Guha
Hindustan Times

Smriti Irani has moved on from being the Tulsi of the popular Star Plus soap Kyunki Ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, though she still misses the character.

The actor, who doubles up as producer with her production house Ugraya Productions’ Mere Apne, which goes on air at 10 pm on Monday on the 9X channel, chats with HT City about the soap, Ektaa Kapoor and working with Vinod Khanna.

Is everything all right between Ektaa and you?
<b1>I really don’t understand why this notion of a war between the two of us has cropped up. It’s like pitting David against Goliath. It was her decision in the capacity of the producer to cast me in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and it’s still a mystery why she asked me to leave the show. I have always done what was expected of me.

Don’t you feel cheated?
No, I do not feel cheated. The media has kept my image of Tulsi intact by constantly asking me whether or not I miss playing the character. People continue to love me. Tulsi was all about a character and not about stardom. It was like being part of somebody’s family. How can I not miss all this.

Tulsi has been a major success and I am proud of it. Yet, I have tried to do something different with Viruddh and Thodi Si Zameen Thoda Sa Aasman. People have
accepted it.

Mere Apne couldn’t have got better as you have roped in none other than Vinod Khanna as the lead character opposite yourself…
From the very first scene Vinodji became the character Kashinath Pande. That is one of the very reasons that I have opted for him. I wanted somebody who is certainly legendary but still does not rise above the character. That is exactly how it worked out with Vinodji.

Will the veteran actor be able to give enough time to the serial, keeping in mind his other commitments?
He has scheduled himself accordingly and thankfully it is working out the way he has said it would. He has given us a commitment till next year so we aren’t worried.

What’s keeping you busy now apart from Mere Apne?
There are two-three other projects that should come early next year. I also plan to venture into film production some day.

With a Bengali background (her mother is from the state), what about a Bengali film?
I would definitely like to do so. I have a script from a sensitive director. However, it has to be structured so that I measure up to the expectations of my fans.

So Smriti is happy…
I think few people have got as many opportunities as I have. I have had to forgo so many chances but my fans have always believed in me and stood by me.

First Published: Nov 12, 2007 15:57 IST