Colors drama Shakti – Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki recently clocked three years on television. The daily also saw a high-point with Harman (Vivian Dsena) insulting Saumya (Rubina Dilaik) and throwing her out of the house. After separating from her husband, Saumya chose the path to become a ‘guru maa’ and has now taken charge as a caretaker.
Vivian Dsena debuted on the small screen with Kasamh Se and rose to fame playing a vampire in Pyaar Kii Ye Ek Kahaani, an Indian take on the Twilight series. He then went on to play the role of a superstar in Madhubala and has also participated in reality shows Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa and Khatron Ke Khiladi.
Vivian recently sat down for an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com to talk about his show, the major high point in his career and always being under the media scanner.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
Q. Most shows with a love story at its core follow the formula of separation and reuniting. Do you feel the audience still buys it?
Most times, if not always, distance does make the heart grow fonder. And so people enjoy watching these twists and turns on shows also.
Q. It’s been three years for Shakti – a show that could have gone all wrong with its concept around a transgender. Did you all expect it to do so well?
To tell you very honestly, when I was offered the show, I asked them if they were sure they want to make the show. It was on a very sensitive subject. While we knew people would watch it, there would be a section who will feel weird or offended by it. But all that the makers asked us was will we work as a team? And here we are more than three years, and still doing quite well. Couldn’t have been more happy and proud of being associated with Shakti.
Q. As you rightly mentioned, there is indeed a section that feels the show did not do justice to the story of a transgender. What do you have to say to them?
Well, everyone doesn’t love chocolates, even I don’t. Similarly, we can’t make everyone happy. It’s easier for people to say that we did not do justice but no one sees the hard work that we have put in. We gave more than 200 percent for three years. If you do the calculations – take 1000 days and multiply it by 12-14 hours each day by 100 people. I can thus never say that we did not do justice to the subject and the show.
Q. That’s quite a huge number of hours you put in at work. How do you find time for yourself or other passions like football in your case?
See, television is taxing. It’s not at all easy. One has to put in 12-14 hours every day. Somehow that’s the demand of our job as we have deadlines to deliver. But things are much stable now, and I do take out time to play football, whenever I can.
Q. Recently you were criticised for having put on weight. As celebs, does being constantly under the scanner affect you in any way?
Nobody is running my house except for myself. So no one’s opinion really matters to me. I had faced a few injuries and so I couldn’t even workout. I did not get to play football for more than six-eight months and was absent from most all-star matches. I accept I had put on weight but I did bounce back, and now doing a decent job. I can’t really let all these negativity pull me down.
Q. There’s also always negative news when it comes to your personal life, be it your divorce or alimony matters. How do you deal with all of it?
I am really very busy with my professional life. I have a lot of responsibilities to take care of. I can’t give these reports any attention. Don’t even have that much of time.
Q. You have always had either great or no camaraderie with your co-stars. How has it been working with Rubina Dilaik?
It’s been really good. She is a fabulous co-star and we share similar creative thoughts. Also, it’s a collaborative approach on the sets. She likes dancing and ends up choreographing most of the sequences. As for me, improvisation is my skill so I help on that. (Smirks) You haven’t heard anything bad about us so far, so I guess you know it’s been going quite well.
Q. Coming back to your journey, you’ve done a few shows and all have done wonderfully well. How do you look back at your career?
I know many feel that I was simply lucky. But it could have been fluke once, twice or thrice but not all the time. I have worked really hard and given it all to achieve what I have today. These 11 years, I have really pushed myself and I hope people can appreciate that. God has also been kind, not just to me but also to other people I am associated with. So far it’s been good and I have no regrets.