Ashvini Bhave, the prolific actress will always be remembered for her adorable role in the Rishi Kapoor starrer film, Henna. Ashvini who has had a great body of work with Hindi, Marathi and Kannada films, is now back to facing the camera after a long gap with the web-series The Raikar Case.
The Raikar Case, the who-done-it mystery saga is produced by Sukesh Motwani and Mautik Tolia and directed by Aditya Sarpotdar for Voot Select.
Ashvini plays the role of Sakshi Nayak Raikar, the petite, silent and brooding housewife of the Raikar family who springs up to become the unpredictable, layered character that she turns out to be.
In an exclusive interview with IWMBuzz.com, Ashvini Bhave talks about her comeback work as an actor, on her future aspirations etc.
What prompted you to take up the series?
As an actor I have always enjoyed working on new mediums, be it theatre, films, television, advertising, stage shows. In the last few years, we have witnessed web to be the new medium that is here to stay. So I wanted to try it out as every medium gives an actor a different experience. But beyond everything else, it was the story and screenplay, and the way they have dealt with the content that impressed me. Of course, my character was another reason why I accepted the character.
When they first approached me for The Raikar Case, I had felt that the content was too dark. But when it was presented to me again, I thought it was really compelling, in the way they have worked on the screenplay. When your character is complex, it is very challenging and rewarding at the same time for an actor. That’s the reason why I accepted the series.
What is your take on the growing web platform?
It is a very powerful medium; it gives the audience a lot of freedom on when to watch and how long to watch. There are no advertisements that are interrupting your viewing. At the same time, it is a very isolated viewing experience. This medium is going to give a tough time to films. Films will also have to innovate as a medium and find creative ways to bring audiences to the theatre. That effort needs to be extravagant. Web-series has an advantage because it does not have censorship and the scrutiny that films have to go through. So I would say it is still finding its balance in the freedom that has been given without censorship. I think for actors, this is a great opportunity as there are many characters in a series. I would say selfishly that if I am playing a character in a film which is about 120 minutes long, a character on the web is there for a longer duration of about 6-7 episodes. So an actor can do the detailing much more. It also makes it harder for actors because keeping a script of a film that is one and half hours long in mind is easier when compared to the web which is longer. Also, we shoot randomly like in the case of The Raikar Case, wherein we finished all the indoor scenes first and then took up shooting all the outdoor sequences. That poses a lot of challenges to keep the continuity and motivation of a character in mind. In The Raikar Case, I took help through a lot of discussions with the Director. It was surely a complex process, but I believe anything that is complicated makes your life so interesting and thrilling.
Would you like to be part of more projects on the web?
Certainly!! My first experience has been really great. I know that there is a Season 2 coming of it. I would love to be part of the original series on varied platforms.
What do you think is the USP of The Raikar Case?
Undoubtedly its screenplay and the way they have written each character. With each episode, the suspicion goes from one character to the other and this keeps the audience guessing. That is the USP.
Your character had a lot of layers, take us through the preparation of it?
When you are playing a character such as Sakshi Nayak Raikar, you need to look the part, and also act the part. When you look the part, people are convinced that you are the perfect housewife. I had to look into the choices of colours, fabric, style of the blouse, its sleeves etc to look the part. When it came to acting the part, the way you compose yourself, your body language is important. Since it was a very complex character, it involved a lot of discussions with my director. Also, the way the screenplay was written was also complex, so it was equally important to imagine where the audiences’ mindset is going to be. Reading the script over and over again helped me a lot. Considering that I was working for the Hindi medium after almost 22 years, and handling a brand new medium, and a set of actors I had not worked with before, it certainly put a lot of pressure on me. After all, it was teamwork and I had a great team to work with including my Director Aditya Sarpotdar and my co-actor Atul Kulkarni. So I must say, I absolutely enjoyed being part of it. It meant a lot of hard work but then, that’s what is expected of an actor.
How are you utilizing your time during this lockdown?
I look at it as family time as everybody usually is busy in their work. I travel a lot. My kids were busy with their school work. But now that we are having breakfast, lunch and dinner together, we have great extended conversations about important things in life. My kids are mature enough to express their opinions and views and have dreams about their lives. Also as students, they are going through a lot of insecurities right now. We don’t know how their next year is going to be. So we are trying to address their concerns as a family. It is also a fun time; everybody is in the kitchen cooking their fun recipes. I happen to assist them and roles are reversed. In an effort to add a good habit to my daily routine, I have started to practice yogic breathing exercise which is good for the lungs. I have also decided that listening to the news is not always a pleasant thing; it is actually very sad. I want to engage in activities that are uplifting. So I am going back to doing things that I have liked – reading, cooking and gardening. Other than that, there was a script for a web-series for which I was working on myself. I want to spend more time doing that, but I am not disciplined enough as of now. So I want to make sure and add it in my calendar. I hope everyone is safe in their homes, and we hope to overcome this phase and move ahead. Also, I look forward to being part of Season 2 of The Raikar Case.