Mukesh Khanna on his struggle before Mahabharat: ‘People labelled me as a flop actor, I was deeply disappointed’

Updated on May 23, 2020 02:33 PM IST

Mukesh Khanna has opened about his struggle before he was chosen for the role of Bhishma in BR Chopra’s Mahabharat.

Mukesh Khanna played Bhishma in BR Chopra’s Mahabharat.
Mukesh Khanna played Bhishma in BR Chopra’s Mahabharat.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Mukesh Khanna, who shot to fame as the Bhishma Pitamah of BR Chopra’s Mahabharat before making it big as Shakiman, has credited the show for bringing about a massive change in his acting career. The actor has revealed he was so disappointed with his series of flops that he refused to face people.

The actor told Times of India in an interview, “Before bagging the role in Mahabharat, I had done many films that were big flops. People labelled me as a flop actor and I was deeply disappointed with the way things were going. When I travelled by train, people used to recognise me and ask me if I was Mukesh Khanna, but I used to deny it and say I was his brother. I just did not want to face people. However, after Mahabharat, life took a new turn and I am happy that I did justice to my role and people loved me for it.”

Mukesh also gives credit to his role which made viewers aware about the story of Bhishma in Mahabharat. “I would like to give a large part of the credit of our roles in ‘Mahabharat’ to Dr Rahi Masoom Raza, who wrote our dialogues. He used to tell me how on seeing me, his pen used to write non-stop about my character (smiles). Back then, Bhishmapitamah made me a household name,” he said.

Watch: Nitish Bharadwaj explains Mahabharata’s relevance in present times

The nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic, which began on March 25 and is set to go on till at least May 31, has led to production shutdowns and a freeze on fresh episodes of current TV shows, forcing channels to dig into their archives to bring back old favourites, including the first major TV retelling of the epics, Ramayan and Mahabharat.

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Not only this, the Broadcast Audience Research Council has revealed mythological shows such as Ramayan and Mahabharat has helped to bolster television audience and advertising revenues for one more week of the COVID-19 lockdown. “Mythological shows have become the main source of entertainment among the Hindi general entertainment channels (GEC),” the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) said, adding that such shows contribute a whopping 43 percent of the total Hindi GEC genre, which is the biggest category of TV channels.

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