ZEE5’s web series The Final Call is all set for its big dramatic finale. While Arjun Rampal plays the lead role as the mentally disturbed pilot, Sakshi Tanwar has left the audience surprised playing the much-in-command air traffic controller.
Popularly known as Parvati bhabhi from Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, Sakshi has surprised the audience with her various roles. From Bade Achhe Lagte Hain, 24 Season 2 to making a mark on the big screen with Dangal and Mohalla Assi, the 46-year-old actor debuted on the web with Karrle Tu Bhi Mohabbat.
While promoting the series, Sakshi recently sat down for an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com. She talked about her character, breaking stereotypes and working in the industry for more than 25 years.
Excerpts from the conversation:
We see you in a very different avatar in The Final Call. Was that the reason for doing the show?
Absolutely. It is not only a very different character but also has many layers. I was so excited when I heard about it. Interestingly, it always happens with me that I end up denying everything good that comes my way. The team had been relentlessly reaching out to me and I was ignoring it initially. Finally, I gave in, and they just told me a one-liner about the series and some details about the key characters. I was just blown away. In just a couple of days, we were on floors. And you won’t believe that I am yet to open the script. It is just lying somewhere in my house.
While having a co-star perform in front of you makes you react well, the show has you communicating mostly on the phone. Was it difficult?
It was actually a bit funny. When I met Arjun (Rampal) during the photo shoot, he asked me if I shot reacting to his footage. He was shocked to know that we did it with assistant directors giving us the cue. Thankfully it has come out beautifully and looks like we are actually sitting opposite each other.
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Do you feel the web has given a chance for female actors to experiment with their roles?
Not just women but for all actors. While digital works best for TV actors, who have spent years in the industry, now film stars are also keen to do something out of the box. It is an interesting platform where you can give a couple of months and yet do an entire graph for a character. That way, it has for sure given the freedom to actors. Also, I feel anyone who wants to tell a different story, the web is the answer for them.
Your character Kiran Mirza is a strong officer but she is still not trusted to take big decisions by her colleagues. And then her relationship with her husband is also affected because she is so passionate about her work. As a woman, what were your learnings playing this role?
I will say that you should wait for the next four episodes. Honestly, we have broken a lot of stereotypes with this show. Kiran is seen negotiating with a terrorist while she is heavily pregnant or her monologue with her husband where she gives it back. It is amazing that the scenario is changing on and off screen. And you will see some really powerful sequences in the coming episodes.
When we think of performance-oriented or intense roles, we do think of Sakshi Tanwar. But don’t you feel like just letting it go and do something light-hearted?
When your television show runs for 5-8 years, it gives you a chance to portray all sorts of emotions. It can’t totally last on high emotions. So I have been lucky to have done that. Especially with Bade Achhe Lagte Hain where Priya was so flawed yet light-hearted and endearing. As for an out and out role like that, if something comes my way, I would be happy doing it.
Talking about television, don’t you miss the medium?
A few days back I was reminiscing my journey and I realised I have been in the industry for 25 years. But I do miss TV for the daily connect it offers with the audience. I have people coming to me and asking why I am still on a break and not doing any show. They don’t know I am doing other things and more. Personally, a role has to inspire me to take it up regardless of the medium. The only issue is that TV is very demanding. It takes away a lot of your time.
25 years is a long time. How do you still find that drive to carry on?
(Laughs) I never had any ambition. I really don’t know how I lasted in the business for so long. Every time one of my show wrapped up, I felt this was the end. Touchwood, I still get good offers. I don’t know how it is functioning, but it is definitely not ambition-driven. There is a bigger force who has planned all this for me.
Lastly, in this long journey, you stayed away from reality shows? Even the big money couldn’t lure you?
The instant popularity is not my cup of tea. I would rather earn lesser, but I want to sustain for long. And I feel I earn good enough to manage well (smiles).
Starting March 22, the final four episodes will stream on ZEE5.
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