Optimystix Entertainment, which is helmed by Vipul D Shah recently saw the launch of Anandibaa aur Emily, on Star Plus. The engaging concept that connects the desi hero with his videsi girl has been appreciated by the masses.

We got to speak exclusively with Producer Vipul D Shah about the show and its concept.


How is it to get back with this slice-of-life concept that Optimystix believes in with Anandibaa aur Emily?

The idea is that we cannot do normal drama shows. We always love to do slice-of-life concepts; this genre has been very special to us. It is in our DNA. This is the story of one of my friends who married a firang. I thought it to be a very good story to convert into a script.

It is an experiment with this Videsi and Desi plot on TV. How do you see it?

Of course, the beauty lies in trying out something different. And with it comes a percentage of risk. Anupamaa, when it started, was believed to be the story of a 40-year-old. But when a concept gets made with all the conviction, it gets received well mostly.

How tough was it to cast for the role of Emily?

It was a very tough journey where the requirement was of a firang girl who is ready to stay in India. She also had to have a flair for learning Hindi. We have been lucky to get Jazzy Ballerini as our lead. She is from London, and was involved in print shoots. Through our various agents, we zeroed in on her. We had actually auditioned 140 girls for the role before we got her.

So what is it that caught your mind when you and your team looked at Jazzy Ballerini as an option?

She has a very lovely vibe and energy. Jazzy is very inclined to India and Indian culture. The Indianness in her heart and thoughts helped us get our Emily. We trained her for seven to eight months before we started shooting with her. She was completely new and we moulded her for the role. It was a long process, and Jazzy reciprocated very well.

After Kya Haal Mister Panchal, this is another Saas-bahu saga with a newer twist. How do you see viewers accepting it?

Whenever you try something new, there is a factor of doubt that comes with it. However, Star Plus has been very progressive with its concepts. Earlier, they gave us the freedom to work on a unique concept like Kya Haal Mister Panchal. Now they have Anupamaa. So they have always tried to push the envelope and try something new. So here we are with Anandibaa aur Emily. Viewers love to see stories that are different and we have made this one very well.

How do you describe this Saas – Bahu combination of Kanchan Gupta and Jazzy Ballerini?

Arre, it is a very beautiful combination. Kanchanji is a seasoned performer. Jazzy is an amazing learner. They both are very good. Kanchanji’s experience helps Jazzy to perform better. Viewers are loving their onscreen banters.

With the OTT boom coming in, do you think TV is being threatened?

I don’t think so. People will surely consume more content. Television has always been big in our country. The OTT space has gained momentum only in the last few years. OTT now has a very dominating share of the audience. But TV will always be there. All the mediums will grow, and we as makers will create content for all the mediums.

How do you see the future for Hindi TV? A lot of experiments on TV have not been accepted.

I think it is a beautiful phase for content makers on TV. We have so much opportunity to do so many things. We can experiment quite a lot, with broadcasters desiring to come up with a change.

What are your expectations from Anandibaa aur Emily?

(laughs). This show has been made very well. Viewers will love to engage their time watching it. I have very high expectations.

What is the X-factor of the show as per you?

The differentiator concerning Anandibaa aur Emily is the presence of a firang bahu. We will have a lot of funny sequences in every episode that will come by.