Candid chat with Shreyas Talpade

Bollywood actor Shreyas Talpade, who is known for movies like Om Shanti Om, Iqbal and Golmaal Again, is all set to debut on TV with SAB TV’s show My Name Ijj Lakhan.

Talking about the show and his character, he says, “I play the lead role of Lakhan, who is a local gunda working for a don. He is completely convinced with the fact that this is the way to live his life. However, due to a sudden incident in his life, he completely changes.  From there on, it’s the journey of how he starts to change as a person, along with the things he has to go through and the people he meets during the entire change over. So that journey of how he deals with things in his own manner is extremely fascinating and that is what really appealed to me, making it the reason I agreed going ahead with the show. Lakhan, though being a goon, has a heart of gold and an up-to-date fashion sense. What I really liked about Lakhan was his flamboyance and his swag.”

When asked Shreyas what made him so long to make TV debut, he avers, “Actually, if we look at it the other way, then television has taken a long time to come to me with a show like this. Had someone come to me with a show like My Name Ijj Lakhan, I would have made my Hindi television debut earlier. So, right now I think it’s just a change of perspective. It’s a finite series with 29 episodes and a fantastic concept, written amazingly. I am an actor, you come to me with such characters, I would be more than happy. I have never really been bothered about the language and the medium, as long as the character is appealing.”

Shreyas who started his career in Marathi industry feels there is no preference between Hindi and Marathi television. “I started my career with theatre, moving on to Hindi TV with smaller roles. I then moved on to Marathi Television with some bigger roles. Today, the reach and popularity that TV has is immense. So, whether it is Marathi or Hindi, the whole line between films and TV, and now web, is probably no more. Each one of these platforms is not only putting in money but a lot of efforts to make sure the get those eyeballs.”

Any preparation you did for the role? “I have just grown my moustache for now, nothing apart from it. Naseeruddin Shah Sir once told me a very good thing – “For a singer, his riyaaz starts when he takes out his instrument but for an actor, riyaaz begins when he opens his eyes in the morning and it goes on till the time he sleeps at night.” So every little thing that you observe, you try to include in your work and this is the same case with the character of Lakhan. The mannerisms of some taporis that I have observed in the past, is something that I will be incorporating here.”

Shreyas says he would want to explore TV more. “I was always willing to do more of television. I have done Marathi daily soaps before coming into films but there came a point where I decided to quit doing daily soaps because I couldn’t take the pressure, which was immense. People think I quit TV because I got into films; however that is not the scenario. I was sitting at home for almost 3 years before I got into films, even when I had offers for daily soaps. That was a time when people had suddenly started doing just daily soaps and there was no concept of finite series. Hence, being in the same line, I had started to feel that I am not in the right profession and that is when I quit doing Television, luckily getting into films. So, I would have been happy to do a finite series earlier and going forward if people come to me with something like this, I would love to be a part of it.”

Commenting on embracing parenthood, he adds, “It has been a really wonderful phase. A lot of my friends and relatives kept asking me to try this life changing experience; however, I didn’t really feel ready for it. But later, finally came a time when I was ready for it. I love every moment of it, although I never thought it would be this wonderful to see your child grow. There are these little things that she starts to recognize, reacts to people and every day is a new experience for me. She is actually the one teaching me a lot of things like being more calm, understanding and patient.”

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