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'I am not going to copy Shilpa's Angoori bhabhi'

By Rajul Hegde
Last updated on: April 26, 2016 18:20 IST
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'I was aware about the ongoing tussle between Shilpa Shinde and the producer but that doesn’t concern me.'

Shubhangi Atre gets ready to play the hugely popular character Angoori bhabhi.

Image: Shubhangi Atre in Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain

Angoori Bhabhi is back on &TV's Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain!

After a lot of controversy, Shubhangi Atre has replaced Shilpa Shinde.

Shubhangi has previously appeared in shows like Kasautii Zindagii Kay, Kasturi and Chidiya Ghar. In fact, Shubhangi had earlier replaced Shilpa in Chidiya Ghar. Shilpa had returned to the show, only to quit again and Aditi Sajwan had then stepped into her shoes.

Shubhangi tells contributor Rajul Hegde how she bagged the show. 

How does it feel to step into Angoori bhabhi's hugely popular shoes? 

It’s a new start for me. I am nervous and excited at the same time to play Angoori bhabhi.

The show has a cult following and playing Angoori is quite challenging. The character has many shades -- she is innocent, funny, and a bit dumb as well.

I am working hard and keeping my fingers crossed. 

This is the second time you have replaced Shilpa Shinde in a show

It's just a coincidence, not intentional. The makers felt that I can play the character, so they approached me. I gave my best in my mock shoot. I guess my innocence worked (smiles). 

Image: Shubhangi Atre and Rohitash Gaud in Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain

Is there a lot of pressure on you since Angoori bhabhi is so popular? 

Yes. The audiences have certain expectations from the character of Angoori bhabhi. Comparisons are inevitable, some people may not like me but I am prepared for it.

In television, the character is larger than the actor.

I understand why replacements get mixed responses from the audience. Replacements of popular characters have happened in the past too, like Anandi (Balika Vadhu), Gopi bahu (Saath Nibhana Saathiya) and Tulsi (Kyun Ki... Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi) and people have accepted them. Initially, it will be difficult for the audience to accept the new actor but gradually, they will. 

Did you follow the show before you came on board?

I did not follow it regularly but yes, I have watched some episodes. I like the show. My daughter watches it regularly. 

What was your reaction when you were approached for the show? 

I had auditioned for another character for the same production house a month ago. I was excited when the makers approached me for Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hai. I felt this was a good opportunity.

I was aware about the ongoing tussle between Shilpa and the producer but that doesn’t concern me. So I wasn’t hesitant in taking up the role. I got a call saying that I was selected for the role on my birthday (on April 11). That was the best birthday gift! 

How much did you have to work on the character and the language, since you have to speak a mix of Bhojpuri and Hindi?

I have played Bhojpuri women in a couple of shows, so that helped me. I am not going to copy Shilpa. I have my own interpretation of the character. But yes, the USP phrases like 'Ka Boley' and 'Sahi pakde' will remain intact. 

Image: Shilpa Shinde in Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain

Have you spoken to Shilpa after came on board?

No, I did not. I have met her socially a few times before. She is a brilliant actress and has set a benchmark of this role.   

What have you been doing before you bagged this show?

I was looking for a good, substantial role. My family is excited to see me back on television after one and a half years in a full fledged role.

Actually, I was working on my body and have lost weight. I did a cameo recently because it involved dancing, and I am a trained dancer.

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Rajul Hegde / in Mumbai