In conversation with Gireesh Sahdev

Talented character artist, Gireesh Sahdev, is enjoying doing an important role in popular SAB TV fantasy, Aladdin – Naam Toh Suna Hoga.

“Although our genre is comedy, my character Omar is very serious. He had wrongly been labeled as a traitor and banished from Baghdad for two decades. He is now back, to settle scores with the evil Zafar (Aamir Dalvi) and clear his name. Having said that, his interactions with Aladdin (Siddharth Nigam) do generate laughs.”

Besides Aladdin, Gireesh, who is the older brother of actor Piyush Sahdev, is also playing the character of Mughal general, Man Singh, in the Colors historical saga, Dastaan-E-Mohabbat: Salim Anarkali.

“Screen time wise, my character might not be seen too much; but being the brother of Jodha, he is quite close to both Akbar and Salim.” Interestingly, even Piyush plays the role of Abu Fazl in the above Balaji Telefilms production.

Gireesh, who has been around for many years, attributes this newfound love for historicals and fantasies as a fad, which comes and goes. Also, our TV industry is afflicted by the me-too syndrome; the super success of Bahubali has seen other makers trying to cash in as well.”

“As artists, we need to be flexible enough to adapt ourselves in whatever is the new flavor of the season. If you are not ready to come out of your comfort zone, you will be left out in the cold, as has unfortunately happened with several big names.”

Unlike other character artists, Gireesh does not feel shortchanged by the star power game. “I have always got my due. And at the end of the day, a film/show can’t run only on leads. You require other equally talented artists to complete the story.”

Among his several shows, Gireesh regards Disney show, Best of Luck Nikki, as the one which got him most recognition. “To be honest, when you start any show you can’t guess whether it will work or not. Also, it was a children’s concept show. But I am glad our efforts were appreciated and we ran for four long years.”

“Like I mentioned above, any successful format sees others try to ape it. Something similar happened with our Nikki story board as well. It is a different matter that they did not work out as well.”

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