It is never easy to get into anybody else’s shoes. Upcoming actress, Niya Sharma (not to be confused with Nia Sharma, currently doing Ishq Mein Marjawan) has learnt this the hard way, courtesy her replacing Priyamvada Kant as Sharda, in Sab TV historical comedy, Tenali Rama.
“The biggest challenge was to get accepted as the new Sharda, not only by the audiences, but also by the co-actors (Krishna Bharadwaj, Manav Gohil and Pankaj Berry) and the entire unit. When I first landed on set, I could notice everybody’s attention on me, wondering whether I will be able to pull it off or not.”
“I was also aware that no matter what I do, comparisons will be always be made, so I had to be strong. Luckily for me, the creative team did not ask me to ape Priyamvada. Rather, I was encouraged to add my own flavour to the written character. This latitude was very important, for no two individuals are alike.”
“Further, the level of difficulty went up by a notch, for this was a project full of ornamental Hindi, given the genre. Normally, I run a mile when offered mythologicals or historicals. But this time, I decided to take the bull by the horns, as a true actor should never baulk at any kind of role. Also, it gave me a chance to try my hands at comedy again. I had enjoyed doing the same, in my last &TV show, Vani Rani.”
Here, she admitted that, as it often happens with all actors who enter set characters, she too faces a certain amount of SM rebuke. “Many Priyamvada fans made nasty comments. But now things are on the mend and I am getting positive feedback for my efforts. It always feels nice when your hard work is appreciated by one and all.”
Niya also has no qualms about playing mother on screen. Interestingly, this was the main reason that Priyamvada had quit in the first place. “To each, his own; for me, it was no big deal as in TV, every lead, sooner or later, becomes a mother. Also, this being a comedy, the emphasis is not on me, being the mother.”
Will it not affect your chances of getting future films and web series? “No; today, audiences have matured. Didn’t Ankita Lokhande, who played a 60-year-old lady in Pavitra Rishta, get a film with Kangana Ranaut?”