Kritika Kamra, who first shot to fame with Kitani Mohabbat Hai, is among the few TV actors who have stayed away from mundane TV stuff and have always come up with different kind of shows. After playing a young doctor in love (Kuch Toh Log Kahenge) with a older man to a reporter on a new channel (Reporters) she is now reprising the iconic warrior princess Chandrakanta on Life OK. We entered into a candid chat with her.
Why did you opt for the role in Chandrakanta?
After having doing my fair share of fiction, I did not want to do one more kitchen drama, rather was on the lookout for something different. Doing a costume drama (my first) in a titular role of an iconic character was just what the doctor ordered. This genre is not easy, besides the physical stress, you also go through a lot of mental endurance as these projects take a lot of time. Having said that I have liked the different shades I am getting to play from a spoilt princess to a warrior queen complete with all the horse riding and classical music.
What was your biggest challenge to enact the role?
I was wondering if public would accept me in this avatar after seeing me in more modern settings , but I am glad to have been showered with praises. There is also a great deal of connect on social media which gives us a sense of what is working and not.
Do you think super success of Baahubali 2 will give impetus to the costume drama genre?
Cinematic influences do trickle down to TV. The super success of S. S. Rajamouli’s vision will surely lead to more similar kind of shows on the tube as well and yes existing projects with larger than life fictional character sets and costumes will get more traction. As of now this genre has become the new favorite. One other thing what is leading to resurgence of this genre is that producers have the resources to fund the bigness required for the same on the screen and yes most importantly the audiences are lapping it up as well.
Another Chandrakanta will soon come on Colors… any competition?
I started immediately after being signed so had no time to think about anything else. Having said I am very excited to see how they present the show for this iconic saga can be interpreted several times like Devdas. It all boils down to the maker’s vision. We have not mirrored the original DD series or the book written by Devaki Nandan Khatri rather tweaked some of the characters, adding more magic and CG aka producer Nikhil Sinha (Mahadev-producer) style, also adding a prelude if you remember.
You don’t go the normal TV route and yet have succeeded?
A combination of luck and patience. In an environment, where you want to keep working for big bucks it gets quite tough to be choosy. I have said no to a large number of projects waiting for something juicy, but this does not go down well with the industry. Keeping with my above thought process, I have gambled and done experimental clutter breaking shows (Kuch Toh Log Kahenge and Reporters). The fact that after a decade (debuted with Yahan Ke Hum Sikandar on Zee Next) I am still playing lead characters, means I am doing something right.
So you don’t succumb to the out of sight, out of mind syndrome?
TV unlike cinema is a daily grind, so you can’t be forgotten. Even now audiences remember me as Arohi ( Kitani Mohabaat Hai) and Dr. Nidhi (Kuch Toh Log Kahenge). On the contrary it is important to give yourself and the audiences a break thereby getting time for reinvention.
None of your shows have been blockbusters?
I have no qualms in admitting Reporters was not a big hit but yes it was again different as per my vision. You never had a character in aviator glasses and torn jeans talking about national issues and yes falling in love with her boss. Over the years I have realized one thing that actor’s don’t bring TRPs , content does, so why overburden myself yourself? The only option left is keep trying stuff what I find interesting.
What else apart from television?
Besides TV, I will continue to dabble in the web and short stories format for it really excites me. I don’t want to be known only as a small screen actor but rather an actor who can play with all formats. We are infamous for perception that TV stars don’t have a personality or can only do loud type of acting. I want to break that notion. I have done three short films which have got good hits, big film critics have reviewed them and they have got good comments as well from viewers as well. So, hopeful for the best.