Although TV Czarina, Ekta Kapoor, has given huge hits over the years, she still gets nervous when her new project is on the anvil. The tension rises further when she attempts to remake one of her iconic hits, Kasautii Zindagii Kay.
“On a scale of one to ten, my confidence level is minus 1. Personally, I prefer non-primetime slots, for example, Bade Achhe Lagte Hain and Ye Hain Mohabbatein, where expectations are not there. It is a different matter that these projects went on to become chart busters,” she tells IWMBuzz.com.
So what made you zero in on Kasautii for a reboot, we ask? “It is one of my better thought out stories, with age old romance and nostalgia. Only time will tell if my plan has worked, though.”
Talking about the reason for selecting Erica Fernandes and Parth Samthaan to reprise Cezanne Khan and Shweta Tiwari as main leads, Ekta says, “Well, I had worked with Cezanne before. As for Shweta, I saw her for the first time in a Doordarshan show, where she was standing behind. I asked the team to get her for audition. But she is already a mother, they replied. To which I quipped, so what. Coming back to 2018,I had seen Erica on the poster of her last Sony show, Kuchh Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi. Incidentally, she was on my FB list; we got in touch and decided to work together whenever she was free. By then, even Kasautii 2 was green-lit. I asked her to wait till I got something good, which she did. And finally, she is here.”
She continues: “As for the male lead, the team had a tough time. They had got one of the more well-known TV names, who I turned down, for we need someone with gravitas. Anurag will not win your attention in the first scene but rather, will grow on you. When Parth’s name came, first up the team was a bit hesitant, given certain past incidents, but I said, he is my Anurag.”
Does the buzz about casting i.e.no clarification on whether Hina Khan will step into Komolika’s shoes, help? “Yes, to start with; but eventually, your story and characters need to hold audience attention. In my mind, it is the writer, creative director and director who are the real heroes of any show.”
When we ask as to what defines the TV industry, someone as successful as Ekta also quips, “The need to come back, no matter what. I guess what keeps me ticking is my passion towards my work. The best part of TV trends is that they keep changing. We brought in daily drama, and then seasons, with Naagin. Today, I like larger than life drama. Tomorrow, no one knows what will happen.”
In closing, Ekta feels happy that several of her small screen discoveries have gone on to do films as lead (Kritika Kamra and Mrunal Thakur, Mouni Roy and Radhika). “The latter did not even know how to walk with heels when we first brought her down from Delhi, and today, see her confidence level.”
You are truly the Czarina, Ekta.