Roop – Mard Ka Naya Swaroop has started off as a movement to change gender stereotypes, with its soul-stirring storyline. The protagonist Roop, who questions the patriarchal beliefs in the society, struck a chord with the audience. And now, post the leap, popular actor Shashank Vyas will be seen taking charge, while Donal Bisht has been cast opposite him. Citing his reasons of taking up the show, Shashank in an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com shared, “How many men get the opportunity to play the title role? Also, I feel I have been badly bitten by the creativity bug that makes me take up new and different projects. Also, I was coming back to Colors and Rashmi Sharma productions are known for making great shows. And if these weren’t enough, an actor needs to work, so here I am back to entertain my audience.”
Earlier, there was a lot of buzz about how Shashank and other actors had rejected the show, as the character demanded him to be effeminate. The makers were left with no option but to alter the storyline to get actors on board. When asked the same, the 31-year-old shared, “Yes, they had called me earlier but then I was in talks with something else. Also, I couldn’t gauge the character but then they changed the screenplay and called me back with a new script. And once I had a through meeting with them, all my doubts were clear. All these while you have seen women talking and fighting for their rights, but for the time on Indian television, a man will be voicing for them and that’s a really progressive move.”
Shashank had recently transformed his physique so that he could do macho roles, and now with this show, we wondered if he has changed his plans. “Not at all. Roop is not a macho guy all the time but when he will show that side, you will be amazed. And yes, a lot of people kept telling me that I look boy-next-door, so it was important to have a multidimensional personality.”
The show will now see a storyline based on the lines of Ki & Ka, and when asked how comfortable he would be playing a house husband, Shashank said with a smile, “I have always been a complete Mamma’s boy. I know there’s a differentiating system among sexes in the society but thankfully I have been brought up by parents, who treated us equally. I think my sister was loved more than me, as I always got all the thrashing (laughs). Also, I moved out for studies and staying away from home has made me master the art of household chores. Personally, I can do everything, I have cooked for myself and sometimes even eaten those half-cooked watery dishes.”
The Balika Vadhu actor has time and again maintained that he believes in signing only content-driven projects and we asked him if he feels television is making such shows. “Not really as I think television lacks good writers. Also, somewhere ratings have overpowered content and that’s harming the overall culture. Making shows is a creative art and it’s wrong to make it a business. If that continues to happen, the change we talk about will take a lot of time,” he replied.
With a lifestyle to maintain, it’s difficult for an actor to take such long breaks. Stating that it’s a matter of choosing between belief and luxury, Shashank said, “Definitely you face issues compared to when you are working and money is flowing in. But just a bit of basic changes and you can manage. I worship my work and I just can’t compromise on it. This is why I take one show at a time, focus on it completely and take time to get back again. I can’t do everything or dance at functions to earn money, that’s not why I became an actor. I want to do roles that will be remembered for a long time.”
Roop – Mard Ka Naya Swaroop also stars Mitaali Nag, Yash Tonk, and Vaishali Thakkar. It airs Monday-Friday, 9 pm on Colors.