In conversation with Akhilendra Mishra

Veteran film and TV actor, Akhilendra Mishra, has high hopes from his STAR Bharat show, Pyaar ke Papad. “Trilokinath’s track has double focus – on one side, he faces off with his daughter Shivika (Swarda Thigale); on the other hand, he really grinds his prospective son-in-law, Omkar (Aashay Mishra) with non-stop testing and spiritual gyaan. No wonder the title, poor guy is absolutely steamrolled.”

“Although the character is yet to open up, I have high hopes from it, having heard the bound script narration of the first 22 episodes. It has good scope for me to add my creative take as an actor. The writers (Anirudh and Neeraj Kumar Pal) have the spark; and once I went on sets, I was also impressed by the vision of my director (Pushkar Mahabal),” says Akhilendra, who is a well-known name courtesy his mostly negative avatar in films like Lagaan, Sarfarosh and Kaabil.

Here, he is not worried that there is no proper story beyond the first month, something that happens with most Idiot Box shows. “Things only go south when there is interference, which again happens when the story is weak. We are in safe territory, for our situational comedy is different from the other farcical laugher shows abounding on TV, given that we don’t make faces or weird body movements.”

Coming to his co-stars, Akhilendra is also impressed by Marathi stage actor, Swarda (last seen in Savitri Devi College & Hospital). “Also, debutant Aashay is a natural performer; we don’t have your normal TV type of acting.”

On why he does not do much TV, he says, “I had been getting several offers but I would always turn them down, not being satisfied with the character graph.” Akhilendra had earlier played the character of Kroor Singh in Nirja Guleri’s Chandrakanta, back in the nineties. His last TV show was Khatmal E Ishq, again on SAB TV.

In closing, when asked to comment on the overdose of sex and abuse on the web, he says, “While this was bound to happen in lieu of lack of censorship, it certainly does not augur well for the youth of the country. Having said that, the digital medium will not have an impact on the tube, which has its own audience base. Youth watch web series alone, given its edgy content, while TV is more of a family-watching exercise.”

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