Free Press Journal

“Working for TV has nothing to do with one’s success or failure in films”, says Sahil Mehta


Sahil Mehta

Striving for excellence is the mantra that keeps him going. His perseverance to bring the best out of him delineates his dedication towards his craft. Sahil Mehta of Star Plus’ popular Suhani Si Ek Ladki talks to Dhrithi Sudhakar Gulvadi about the sensibilities of Bollywood and television, his show and more…

Only a handful of television actors make it to Bollywood but not many are as popular in Bollywood as they are in television. Do you think people’s preference over familiar face is the cause of this phenomenon to exist?

No, I don’t believe in that at all if that had been the case, Mr. Shah Rukh Khan would not have been Mr. Shah Rukh Khan today. He did several TV shows before stepping into films. He had an entire season of Fauji which was a very successful show critically as well as commercially. He had done Circus and he had also done a cameo in Wagle Ki Duniya. Irfan Khan, one of the greatest actors of Indian television and cinema is now a renowned actor in Hollywood. He’s also doing work in both the industries. I really don’t believe that working in television has anything to do with one’s success or failure in films. It’s always about the roles one does; it’s always about the way one crafts it and it’s always about the timing. It’s said about this industry that you got to be at the right place at the right time. If all these things in a combination would work for one then it would work for any industry, so that’s what I believe.

Entertainment is not a systematized industry unlike other mainstream industries, although success follows but there are also many risks involved to become an actor in this industry. Were you ready to take up the challenge before becoming an actor?

I never calculated risks. I never saw the pros and cons. I knew what I wanted to do. Initially as a kid I wanted to play for India and wanted to be a cricketer. That didn’t work out, as I wasn’t good enough. I realized it at a very early age and I am glad I did. I wanted to become an actor and I came to Bombay. I chanced out and lucked out and here I am. I am a working actor in Bombay and that is a very big deal. There was no Godfather for me. There was no industry connection. Here I am in a decently successful daily soap and I am really proud of that.

Out of many characters from the assortment of daily soaps, which character do you think will take you far better than the character that you are playing presently?

I do not watch television, so I have no idea. I have never seen anything as I have no time.

Out of fame, money and relationship what would you risk the most to be at the top of your game? Why?

I would risk money. If I do not have a relationship then I don’t think that I can survive. There is no way that I’ll be happy and if I am not happy then the rest of things don’t matter.

If given a chance what improvements would you like to bring in your show Suhani Si Ek Ladki ?  

I would like to perform better. I still think that I have a long way to go. I don’t think that I am a great actor. I could put in a lot more to the character I play. I do strongly believe that I am the weakest link in the show. I am the least hardworking actor on set because I feel that I don’t give my 100 percent and I can give a lot more than I do. I strongly believe that I am a very mediocre actor.

Television or Bollywood- which one of the two you believe is the most sensible medium to work?

That is absolutely up to your conviction. Yes, my own personal sensibilities are very different from what we do but there are so many people who are absolutely convinced and enjoy doing the daily norms of a television show, so sensibility is a very subjective matter. People in the interiors of India have these household issues and that is what they like to watch and that is why they relate to it so well. I cannot desire to live a Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara or a Dil Chahta Hai on a daily soap because the sensibilities of the audiences are very different. If anybody is wrong then it’s me and if I don’t relate to the sensibilities then it’s my problem because the audience for the show is obviously out there otherwise people would not have been getting the numbers that we do at 6.30 pm. We are the slot leaders for the past 2 years. We get the numbers and there’s a huge number of audience who watch our show.

Anything that makes you retrospective.

I love being retrospective. Living in hindsight is something that we all do. I have always backed the choices that I made in life. I am in a very happy place and there is nothing much to retrospect in my life. I haven’t done anything much till yet, so nothing to say.