Candid chat with Eijaz Khan

Yeh Moh Moh Ke Dhaagey was one of my better TV works, yet it tanked: Eijaz Khan

Veteran film and TV actor, Eijaz Khan, who will next be seen in Applause Entertainment’s Hotstar special, City of Dreams, directed by Nagesh Kukunoor, is wary of doing any more TV for the moment. “Web offers diverse and realistic stories. Working with Nagesh, who I regard as my best partner in the actor-director equation, is a treat.”

Eijaz was also part of the Ullu web series, based on the Muslim practice of Nikkah Halala.

Explaining his reluctance to return to TV, something which he has done for years (Kkavyanjali, Kyaa Hoga Nimmo Kaa and Laut Aao Trisha), Eijaz says, “I have always been a producer’s actor on TV, so I understand the pressure the poor guy goes through. He might be forced to bump off my character at the drop of a hat and bring in a more economical actor.”

“I really felt bad at the way the cookie crumbled in my last Sony show, Yeh Moh Moh Ke Dhaagey, which I regard as one of my best works till date. I went to Gujarat and actually studied how the sarpanch or village heads behave with society and family.”

“Unfortunately, its sensitive story never picked up on the ratings and hence shut shop quickly, which must have really hurt the producers (Siddharth Tewary and Saba Mumtaaz) who I know quite well.”

“While the narrative did deal with my character’s relationship with his younger sister (Ananya Khare), we did not get time to properly show his romance with a much younger woman (Niyati Fatnani) and all the attending complexities.”

“Having said that, if something really juicy on tube comes my way, I will surely consider it. I want to associate with great writers, and since some of my contemporary actors have also turned producers, I would love to work with them on the basis of similar work values.”

Eijaz is not very perturbed by the overdose of sex on web, saying, “What is the big deal in meeting consumer demand in a legal and consenting manner? Also, If you give young kids 2 GB of data every day, what do you expect them to check out? Certainly not sanskari stuff, right?”

Coming to Halala, he says, “While we did not have any frontal nudity as some web series have, there were some bold scenes. And I was quite uncomfortable playing the character who forces himself on a woman. To be honest, I could not watch as my moral compass does not sanction violation of women. So before every scene, I would talk to the actress (Shafaq Naaz), telling her exactly what I would be doing, so she was prepared.”

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