Smita Bansal, who had made a name for herself as Jagdish’s mother in Balika Vadhu, admits that success also has a downside. “I was only getting offered similar kind of simple mothers’ roles. No one wants to risk trying you in a different avatar. I don’t want to do Sumitra again, for I have done my best with her; hence I waited and waited.”
“Finally, Nazar and Aladdin came my way. My character in the Gul Khan produced Star Plus horror show is of a strong woman who takes decisions keeping herself in mind, as opposed to my timid image. Aladdin’s (Siddharth Nigam) ammi in the new SAB TV show is a loving but goofy mother, who often puts her son in embarrassing positions. Sumitra’s way of loving her son is completely different from Ammi’s. Also, the set up is poles apart; one is an Arabia based fantasy, while the other was set in today’s Rajasthan and preached a serious social message.”
As of now, Smita is busy with Aladdin, which has just started. “I will return to Nazar at some point, but not sure when. You know how TV stories flow. Rest assured, my character was not meant just to kickstart the show.”
Smita, who has been around TV for over 2 decades, starting with Kora Kagaz, attributes her long innings to her professional approach. “I never trouble my producer, hence get cast again and again. And yes, most importantly, my talent has been appreciated by the viewers. We don’t know what works or not in daily soaps. Yet, hard work and dedication to my craft have helped me stay alive in this highly competitive TV world.” Her other known shows have been Amanat, Aashirwad and Sarhadein. Her other recent project was Jaana Na Dil Se Door.
Talking about generation-next, she says, “I have not worked much with them, save for Balika, where the entire setup was so good that no one could afford to slacken.”
Now, coming to the even younger crowd, as in Aladdin, these 16-17 year old actors come prepared knowing that if you don’t perform you are out. At least during our time, our director tried to help up our game. The energy and vibe these kids bring to the set is infectious. We also recharge our batteries, not wanting to be left behind.”