Versatile actor Pankaj Berry has returned to full-fledged daily soap scenario after three long years with SAB TV’s recently launched epic show, Tenali Rama. The actor who has had a vast body of work, both on TV and on the big screen did not want to take up a long-running role on TV till the role of Tathacharya came his way.
Says Pankaj, “Yahaan Main Ghar Ghar Kheli was my last daily soap. Though I have been doing cameo roles in Waaris, Gangaa and lot of exciting stories for Crime Patrol, I had made a conscious decision of not taking a full-fledged role. However, Tenali Rama changed my mindset. It is a lovely character and a beautiful story. I remember the days when I was working for Gul Gulshan Gulfam. Tenali Rama used to air on Doordarshan then, and it was so popular. I used to enjoy watching it. And today, I am glad that I am part of it. In South, the character of Tenali Rama is very popular.”
Talking about the eagerness of people towards the concept, the actor states, “Whoever I talked to about the show being made was very eager to watch it. All have been waiting for the show. And that’s the impact created by the concept and name. Tathacharya is the antagonist on the show and I get to play nearly 4-5 various shades in it. I have a very close bond to share with King Krishnadevaraya. On the other hand, I am the complete opposite with Tenali Rama. Tenali Rama and Tathacharya’s roles are like Tom and Jerry. In public, Tathacharya is a huge figure, very Godly. At the same time, Tathacharya’s chemistry with his wife and girl friend are very different.”
Pankaj Berry who has had an illustrious career feels blessed as an actor. “I have done so many characters in my career. I feel lucky that I have got all kinds of roles to play. I have done comedy, negative roles, been an old man and even a young man. Now I am happy to be part of Tenali Rama. The show has bagged fantastic response and reviews, and let us hope that it gets even better.”
The best part for Pankaj Berry is that kids are enjoying watching Tenali Rama. “The show has loveable characters, and I am sure of the fact that everyone loves Tenali Rama. We have genuine comic moments which are loveable and laughable. The best part is that it is a family entertainer.”
At home too, Pankaj Berry is being praised for his performance. “My family and relatives have been watching it. My son who is studying in Vibgyor High is enjoying it. His friends have watched me on screen. So the feeling is really good. This is my first show with Contiloe and my second with SAB TV (Jugni Chali Jalandhar, being the first).
Talking about Krishna Bharadwaj, Berry avers, “He is a very good boy. We have become friends now. I will say that he suits the role of Tenali Rama very well. The best part of the show is that we have a very good team. Starting from the director, actors, producer, camera man, sound recordist, all are very good. Tenali Rama is an example of how a good show happens with the best of people joining in. In simple words, it is a complete team effort.”
The senior actor feels that the digital space gives a lot of creative freedom and liberty to say different concepts. “I have also done a web-series recently. But one thing that is to be remembered is that the liberty should be stretched only till a limit. We need to understand that slowly and steadily the family audience will also get to the digital space. So there should be shows made that cater to families. The below the belt comedy will not appeal in such cases. Having said this, the digital medium comes to us as a way to getting educated. So the youngsters watching it know what is right and what is wrong. Let us hope for the best. The wave of digitization has just started; let’s see how it spreads.”
Here’s wishing the ‘Tathacharya’ of TV all the very best!!