‘Never say die’. Well, this spirit certainly applies to Bhanu Uday, of Star Bharat show, Saam Daam Dand Bhed.
“Despite our best efforts, and having a quality product in our hands, we were not rating big. So, rather than getting despondent, we all, including the writers, really got to work. And lo and behold! Things have completely turned around. From a rating of just 0.4, we have jumped up to 1.2, which is phenomenal. This Shakuntalam Telefilms offering is now #3 on the channel.”
Here, he accepted that the story board was also altered, taking public perceptions into consideration. “The emphasis has shifted from fighting the system, to dealing with his love interest and family; though the original tone and momentum continues. These changes were always on the cards, albeit we have fast-forwarded them,” he added for good measure.
Bhanu says that one of the reasons for choosing the show, apart from the story, was its Hindi heartland setting. “Living in Mumbai, we make the mistake of thinking this is the real India, when it really lies elsewhere. After doing urban shows and a Hollywood flick, I wanted to be part of shows which would also appeal to my Dadi and Nani, my driver, etc. Star Bharat’s foray into this market has worked big time, and it is now the #1 GEC (urban and rural).”
Bhanu, who started his TV career with Special Squad (Star One), has not done too much TV. “I would like to do projects that help me to grow as an actor, and we know most TV stuff does not go down that route. But that does not mean I was not working. I was always doing something or the other. The only problem is that those mediums were not very visible, or were more of experimental work (Choker Bali on Epic, etc).”
Prior to Saam, he had done &TV’s Meri Awaaz Hi Pehchaan Hai, on the Mangeshkar sisters. “It was really challenging to essay a man who sang and danced as a woman. I really had to work on the body language, being a manly man in real life. Such juicy characters are few and far between, and you really have to wait for them with patience.”
When asked about Sister Didi (Sony), he says, “It was an interesting experience, for I had never done a normal soap before. It was a pleasant six months and I made many good friends. I regard it as another stepping stone in my career.”