Mandira Bedi: Production houses are churning out shows like a factory
Mandira Bedi might be missing from action on the tube nowadays, but clearly the actor is in no rush to take up something that she doesn’t connect with. Having been part of iconic daily soaps such as Shaanti and Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Thi, Mandira, who has witnessed a complete transition in the world of TV, cannot relate to the content shown in the current shows.
“I don’t know what kind of content is being made now! It’s ironic that after being a part of one of India’s first daily soaps, I’m saying this. Production houses have become like a factory, churning out shows. Basically, what you see today is shot three or two days ago. Makers rely on the ratings only. If they go well, they continue with the track, and if they don’t, they shift to another track. It’s very volatile.”
Mandira, who has also been part of reality show Fear Factor, besides hosting quite a few of them, says that in earlier, show-makers were secure about the kind of content they made. So they would make episodes beforehand, she explains. “The entire show used to be made and then aired. Shanti was 20 years ago and we still had a bank of two months. What we shot today would come on air after two months. And, in between if we wanted to revamp the set, we had time to do it,” she says.
Mandira also points out that actors nowadays have hectic schedules and they can’t plan a holiday. “Back then, we could take three weeks off without having much of a hassle with the shooting dates. Today, that’s not possible. If you are playing the protagonist in a daily soap, you are required for 25 days. You don’t have a life and you are working non-stop. So if you want to take a break, I’m not sure how you manage that.” Mandira also recalls the time when appreciation from viewers really mattered for actors and they used to get flooded with fan letters. “Unfortunately, people don’t write anymore. There was no Internet back then and we used to have a room with full of sacks with fan mails and postcards.”
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