You love her, you hate her, but can you ignore her? There are some faces which remain etched in our memories so strongly, that even after decades, iconic characters played by them remain an inspiration. But can an inspiration be ever about playing bad? Absolutely yes. Television’s legendary vamp, actor Urvashi Dholakia has no qualms about playing a character everyone loves to hate years after the show ended — Komolika on Star Plus’ one of the milestone shows Kasautii Zindagii Kay. With elaborate bindis, winged kajal, strapless blouse and a mind full of plotting and planning to destroy a stereotypical good Indian family on the TV screen, Urvashi gave a new dimension to playing bad. Years down the line, ever did she feel that the trend she created got over-used or TV vamps became cliched? Urvashi Dholakia answers it all in an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com.
“Well if you start a trend today and 20 years down the line it still goes on, won’t you be proud of it? Why should I feel it is over-used? I like the way people perceive it. I didn’t realise people were emulating me. But it feels good to be in that position when people copy you and not you copying others. So of course, it’s a very happy feeling. I would never for once trade anything for that feeling. Starting a trend is not a bad idea and it’s a great achievement if I’ve done that,” she said.
So considering she began acting quite early, was she promoted to the ranks of playing a mother onscreen too soon? “I’ve even played a grandmother. By the end of Kasautii, I was practically a 60-70 year old. I’ve even played a mother to four grown-ups. Playing a mother doesn’t really matter. But do I look like a mother? (laughs) That way I’m portraying myself. In reality also I don’t look like a mother,” the 37-year-old actor said.
Urvashi is set to make a comeback in Chandrakanta. Now, if there is one show that remains an integral part of the 1990s and can be credited for giving Indian television one of its very first fantasy worlds, it has to be Chandrakanta. The show, which originally starred Shikha Swaroop and Shahbaz Khan in the lead roles, has already made a comeback on Life OK. But looks like its memory is so strong that even Ekta Kapoor couldn’t refrain from producing her own version. Her Chandrakanta has replaced Colors’ top show Naagin 2, and Urvashi plays the evil Queen Iravati. So how is her new character different from Komolika, or for that matter Urvashi herself?
“Urvashi is a normal human being. Komolika is a character she played, who was extremely cunning, and got easily hurt. This one is very different because she is very magical. The previous character was based on very real terms. This one is not realistic. It is about a fantasy world, very fairytale-ish kind of story. Its a quintessential love story where I have to be a part of it just to screw it all up.”
Is there any pressure to live up to the mark of the original show, and face the competition of Life OK’s version? “Considering Chandrakanta has been a benchmark, it is always very humbling and honouring to play a part of something that is already been so legendary. This Chandrakanta, because I wanted to do it! There was a fire inside me which pushed me to do it. I always wished to have a magic wand in my hand. So I think Ekta felt that pain of mine and said, ‘Let me give her some powers!’
And what about the space vacated by Naagin 2? Will it be easy to fill or that’s another challenge? “If it weren’t us then someone else would’ve come. But that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t have done out hard work on a different slot. So for us slot doesn’t matter. What matters is the hard work we are putting in, the kind of conviction that we have towards this project, and belief that Ekta has in all of us that we will be able to take this forward. Also let’s not forget as far as slot replacement goes, it is her slot, she will do whatever she feels like. So she has chosen us. We should be bloody thankful.”
Chandrakanta on Colors stars Madhurima Tuli and Vishal Aditya Singh in titular roles, and airs on weekends at 8 pm.