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Ronit Roy shares he was paid less than a junior artist in first TV show: ‘But I had to get back to work’

Ronit Roy talks about venturing into television after his career crashed in Bollywood. He reveals how his driver warned him that he was being paid less than a junior artiste for his first TV show.

ronit royRonit Roy is back on TV screens with Swaran Ghar. (Photo: Ronit/Instagram)

Ronit Roy’s career has seen immense highs and debilitating lows. The actor who has been a part of hit films and TV shows, also witnessed a phase when work dried up completely, even after he delivered a blockbuster debut with Jaan Tere Naam. In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Ronit opened up about his second innings and the lessons he learnt from past mistakes.

In a recent interview, the actor had mentioned how producers will say ‘gandi gandi baatein’ about him back in the day. Elaborating more on that, Ronit Roy said that people have all kinds of things to say when someone is in their lean phase. “I believe that if someone is saying something, one must listen to it carefully. There are times when you realise that there may be shortcomings in you. Otherwise when it’s only coming from spite, just ignore it. Failure teaches you a lot and when you have decided to stand up again, those lessons really help. One should just imbibe those and move forward. Honestly, I have forgiven those people, but I have never forgotten what they said. I don’t carry baggage but I believe one must remember it as you may have given them that reason. You should know what led to that negativity and you never give them that chance again to speak ill of you,” he shared.

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When asked if he struggled to change people’s perception about him once he returned to work, the actor said, “I never planned a comeback, it just happened. But yes, I did think about what wasn’t done correctly in the past, and put things in order when I got the opportunity.”

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Ronit Roy became a household name with his character of Mr Bajaj in Kasautii Zindagi Kay.

Ronit Roy then went on to share a heartfelt story about how he got his first television role. Stating that he was in Kolkata shooting for a Bengali film when he got a call from Balaji Telefilms for a show Kammal on Zee TV. Once he returned to Mumbai, he called the team to know the nitty-gritty of how TV works. “I was on the loudspeaker, asking them how things work on a daily soap. My driver was there and they mentioned how they will pay me Rs 1200 per day for the role. I went to the Balaji office, did my meeting, and was back home when my driver told me, ‘sir yeh to junior artist se bhi kam paise hai. Unhe bhi 1500 milte hai (Sir this is even less than what junior artists are paid. They too get Rs 1500)’. I just smiled, reached home, and called them to say yes. At that time, I needed to get back to work, I needed to say yes. I am glad that I did that as it translated into more work, be it Kasautii Zindagii Kay or Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. It has been a wonderful ride,” shared Ronit Roy.

Ronit Roy played Smriti Irani’s husband in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.

Interestingly even with such a roller-coaster ride, the Udaan actor confessed he has no regrets. Sharing that he is very happy with how things panned with him, he said, “They are my successes and failures and I love them. When you work hard and fail, you can just smile, go back and take that as a lesson. Sometimes there’s no reason for failure. The team works hard but the product doesn’t end up the way you envisaged. The audience is smart. That’s a constructive feedback and you get the medium to change things for you.”

And will he have a piece of advice for the 20-something Ronit, who was just starting out? “I could write a book for him (laughs)”, he replied, adding that there’s so much he learned back in the late 90s when ‘work dried up completely’.

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The Kaabil actor said, “There’s a lot of soul searching that happened… a complete paradigm shift. A lot was thought about but it has taken a decade to incorporate that in life. It’s difficult to incorporate that kind of a change but you do it because you understand that this is not the way to go ahead. I was young, brash, and cocky. Sometimes you just don’t have self-control and end up disrespecting work. One success and you feel you are a star. But stardom is not a destination, it’s a journey. Every small factor needs to be addressed and given time. Akal aate aate aati hai na (you get smarter with time).”

Ronit Roy is now back on television with Colors’ Swaran Ghar.

First published on: 04-03-2022 at 08:14 IST
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