'I wasn't nervous working with Amitabh Bachchan'
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Aahana Kumra, who plays Amitabh Bachchan's daughter Taruni in Yudh, admits that meeting Big B for the first time was 'overwhelming' but she did not feel nervous while working with him.
Kumra may be new to the medium of television but she comes with a strong theatre background and credits her training on stage for instilling confidence in her.
"I must admit that it is a bit overwhelming to meet Mr Bachchan. But I did not feel fidgety or nervous because my two mentors Naseeruddin Shah and Makarand Deshpande taught me to never be afraid. I have lot of confidence in myself and my work," Kumra said.
The actress says it was easy to work with Bachchan from the day one and the megastar took time to discuss how they should approach their roles.
"Anurag (Kashyap) had told him that I would play Taruni but there was no ice-breaker. When the shooting started, my first scene was with Mr Bachchan. I spent whole night working on it. The next day, he sat me down and asked about my understanding of the role. He also came up with a beautiful backstory for my part. He is lovely to work with," she said.
Kumra feels her character in the show is very strong.
"Taruni is a lot like her father. She is stubborn. She identifies a lot with him and she is the only one who can stand up to him. It's a very strong and intense role," she says.
The Sony TV show, which also stars Sarika, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Kay Kay Menon, Tigmanshu Dhulia among others, is directed by Ribhu Dasgupta while Kashyap is the creative director and Shoojit Sircar, the creative consultant.
Kumra, who has earlier worked in films like My Blueberry Night and Deshpande's Sona Spa, hopes good work comes her way after the show, which ends after 20 episodes.
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Image: Ahana Kumra
Sajid Nadiadwala: Kick success celebrations still on
Striking gold at the box office with his directorial debut Kick, producer Sajid Nadiadwala said celebrations have not stopped at his and actor Salman Khan's residence.
As a producer, Sajid with his production house Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment Pvt Ltd had scored a hat-trick with films Highway, 2 States and Heropanti doing good business.
Salman and Jacqueline Fernandez starrer Kick has reportedly garnered Rs 147 crore worldwide since its release on July 25.
"It has been a very special Eid. NGE started the year with a bang and Kick has added to it. It's been euphoric. Celebrations at Salman and my residence have not stopped," Sajid Nadiadwala said in a statement in Mumbai.
Going forward, Sajid's next releases as a producer are Ranbir Kapoor-Deepika Padukone starrer Tamasha and Saif Ali Khan-Katrina Kaif's Phantom.
Image: Sajid Nadiadwala
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar
'Bollywood stars are not meant for daily soaps'
Bollywood stars may be turning to television in a big way but producer Ashwini Yardi believes they cannot create the same magic in daily soaps.
Ashwini, who is making a comeback to TV with new fiction Jamai Raja following a successful stint in films, said the daily soaps on small screen are more content driven and actors are relatable.
"People have a different perception of a TV actor and a Bollywood star. Audience identify more with TV actors but at the same time when they watch Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar they feel they are the heroes who are larger-than-life. So, Bollywood stars are not meant for TV.
"In film, a hero should be more aspirational and on TV they should be more relatable. If such people come to your TV set then it will not be aspirational anymore," Ashwini told reporters.
Actors like Karisma Kapoor, Raveena Tandon and Poonam Dhillon could not strike a chord with the audience with their daily soaps. Amitabh Bachchan's fiction debut Yudh too received a lukewarm response from the people even though the megastar continues to be a ratings puller when it comes to his reality Kaun Banega Crorepati.
Ashwini, and her business partner Akshay Kumar, has come up with their first TV venture Jamai Raja under the banner Grazing Goats Pictures. The duo is behind big screen hits including Oh My God!, Boss and Fugly.
"Jamai Raja is just a concept that we thought is very fresh for TV. TV soap has not explored a relationship through a man's perspective where a man is actually playing a dominating part," said Aswini.
In these two decades, Ashwini feels that satellite TV has gone through a sea change in terms of content and characters.
"In early 1990s, serials made for the cable TV were for affluent societies because only high class could afford it. Even the characters, especially women also portrayed the sentiments of the elite class.
"But with digitalisation, cable has become affordable and even the shows have started catering to the common man. Now, they are less on drama and more on the realistic side," she said.
Image: Ashwini Yardi
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar