Anshuman Malhotra of Life Ok’s popular Naagarjuna – Ek Yoddha
Anshuman Malhotra of Life Ok’s popular Naagarjuna – Ek Yoddha

His passion for acting defines his ability to perform better than the best. Anshuman Malhotra of Life Ok’s popular Naagarjuna – Ek Yoddha talks with Dhrithi Sudhakar Gulvadi about his show, audiences’ preferences over television shows and more…

Do you think people would relate to the character that you are playing in Naagarjuna – Ek Yoddha as it is unrealistic?

Yes, it’s unrealistic. People can’t relate to it, obviously. They can relate to the kind of a person Arjun is and not Naagarjuna or the guy with the superpowers. They can relate to how Arjun is a simple, very loving person and respects everyone, but they can’t relate to the fantasy or the supernatural part of the show. They love to watch unrealistic or fantasy show.

What inspired Naagarjuna – Ek Yoddha to happen?

To the makers, they were working on this project for a very long time. Before we started shooting, they were working for 2-3 years on it. They wanted to make a fantasy show. They wanted to bring an Indian superhero kind of a show. He is not a superhero, but the character is huge in the Indian television and filled with fantasy. I was very unsure in the beginning when I was approached for it and when I auditioned for it because its Indian television and we have to telecast it for 5 or 6 days in a week. As it has to telecast time by time, the quality consequently gets affected. I didn’t want to be a part of a thing which is not perfect or compromising. So, they explained me that we’ll shoot it before the actual telecast of the episodes and unnecessarily, we won’t put graphics anywhere; we’ll use it less but we’ll make good ones. So, I came on board and we started doing it. You can see how beautifully we’ve made it.

How do you react to gossips about your show?

I don’t pay a lot of attention to the gossips and if I would not be feeling good doing this work then I would have not done it. I do those things which satisfy me and my work. If I am satisfied that I am doing something creative then that is what matters. A man changing into a snake and a snake turning into a man is not possible because it’s a fantasy show. It’s just the entertainment industry who wants to entertain people. If one is getting entertained then one will watch it, but if they don’t like it, then they’ll not watch it. I like to do serious things or art films, but everything holds its own place. Films like dark entertainment have their own place, whereas serious films and art films have their own place. Similarly, in television, saas-bahu serials are different, supernatural shows are different and comedy is different. So, some people like to watch it and some people may not like to watch it. It’s fine. We will try to portray it so convincingly that I hope they’ll like it.

There has to be some coherence when churning a story even if it has to be simply entertainment. Comment.

There has to be some logic, but there is a problem with us Indians as well. I am not going to blame the Indian audience. When one does something illogical people laugh like crazy and they love it, even if someone is turning into makkhi people are watching it. People are watching it and that is why it is working. People may say ‘what shit is this?’ but they are watching. The TRP’s are coming because of that makkhi. Sometimes we go for the TRP’s as well. If it had shown a man turning into a cockroach or anything, then people would have criticized it, but they’ll love it, watch it and laugh at it.

Our TV serials have never been acclaimed internationally unlike our films. Comment.

If we take the example of Game Of Thrones, they work on it for years. They have extended the next season that is going to come because they are working on it and it can’t come on time. They’ve extended the telecast as well. When the story will be limited then they (makers) know where to start and end the story and that is the time when something good will be made, that is the time when the content will be superb and that is the time when you’ll love it. They make it in ease and not in a rush. If you want to do anything artistic and you want people to love it, then you’ll have to give some time to it.

How do you stay stylish?

If you see my pictures on social media, I am always in pajama, T-shirts and Chappals. I don’t have a style statement. Otherwise, I really wear a jeans, T-shirts and shoes or Chappals. I am comfortable wearing Chappals.

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