After producing Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Viacom 18 is all set to launch a TV show on the subject of hygiene and sanitation. Titled Navrangi Re, the socio-drama will air during the weekends on Rishtey TV from February 2.
Laced with drama, wit and satire, the series will star Aamir Ali as the lead, while Raju Kher, Susmita Mukherjee, Vaishnavi Dhanraj will play pivotal roles. Bollywood’s evergreen star Anil Kapoor will also be seen in a cameo appearance.
Q. Navrangi Re is a very different show. Was that the reason for you to take it up?
I actually had two very simple reasons. Firstly, it was a limited series show with a very innovative and creative concept. Secondly, because of the production house (Swastik Productions). I have already worked with them and I know they don’t compromise on production value.
Q. A social issue works well as a film. Do you feel the audience will tune into the show?
All that we can do is work with our full sincerity. People, who will understand the subject, will definitely watch it. Rest we can’t force it upon anyone. But I feel television has a bigger audience and reaches the smallest of towns. People worship their TV screens while watching Ramayan and Mahabhara. So it does make sense to produce a show as it has a stronger effect.
Q. You are quite selective with work on the small screen?
To be very honest, I don’t usually watch TV as every channel has the same kind of shows. I understand that it is working but I don’t want to be a part of it. When you shoot for a daily show, you are doing the same kind of work for months. You even get to mouth similar lines. It is really painful and disheartening for an actor. When I started, I did some of it to survive, and keep the money flowing. But now, my kids have grown up and things are settled. So I decided I cannot cheat myself anymore. I will only do substantial roles that can help me challenge myself as an actor.
Q. Do you feel your real talent as an actor has been tapped?
As an actor, you cannot ever be satisfied. That would be the end of it. I am okay with small roles but it should be something that stands out. A character that audience remembers for years. That gives a high to actors.
Q. Also, did having a successful brother in Anupam Kher affect your career in any way?
He is my Ram and I am Lakshman. The one per cent that I can act is because I have seen him work. Maybe unintentionally, but it has all come from him. I never aspired to be an actor. I owned a media company with a friend. The first time I acted was for our show Imtihaan. The rest just followed seamlessly. I remember the first time I had to face the camera, Anupam sent me a bouquet with a note that read, “Don’t act, just do it from your heart.” I don’t know what I made out of it then, but that stayed with me.
Q. So what’s the equation between you both?
We are friends. Actually, even our father was a friend to us. We come from a family that believes in giving happiness. They have taught us to live life to the fullest. My father used to always tell us that don’t waste your today thinking about tomorrow.
Q. What are the other projects you are working on?
As I said, I am open to doing good work. So let’s see what comes my way. Also, I am directing and producing a film titled Panchi.