After playing supporting characters in many television shows, Sunayana Fozdar is finally getting a chance to bask in the limelight. Sunayana recently stepped in Neha Mehta’s place to play the popular character of Anjali Mehta, writer Taarak Mehta’s (played by Shailesh Lodha) wife in the long-running show, Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah. The actor, who made her television debut with the show Santaan, says she is excited to play such an iconic character. In an interaction with the Cinema Journal, the actor speaks about the new journey. Excerpts from the interview:
You are playing a character that Neha did for almost 12 years. How do you feel?
I think gratitude is the word. I just asked the audience to give me a chance, and they gave me love, acceptance, and more. Because sometimes getting acceptance from the audience for a character which was played by someone else for 12 long years is not a joke! And I thank the viewers and god that I did not have to go through the grill of comparisons. I am very grateful to the producer for bringing me on board for this role... There must have been many actors who would want to be in my shoes. A special mention to Asit [Modi] sir who noticed me and believed that I could do this part, which came with a lot of responsibilities. I get to be a part of this iconic family, which has already created history. So, for me there can be nothing better.
You have done a few films. What made you turn to television?
I started my career with Kannada films, and have done a Telugu film as well. Just making money was never my intention. I always wanted to work for satisfaction. I was too young and naive to understand and comprehend the language. So, I did not take it seriously in terms of making a full-fledged career in the South. At that point, I was also trying to complete my studies. And, then television happened... it was never really planned. I never strategised in that way that I only want to do films. In fact, I feel TV actors are underrated because there is a lot of hard work that goes in for shooting a daily soap. However, I have respect for both the mediums. But, doing films is not the only pinnacle of accomplishment for me. I think I can make my mark on TV too.
TV actors find it difficult to make it big in films. What’s your take?
I don’t agree with this. For example, my favourite, Sakshi Tanwar is doing films. There are many actors who have made a mark in films after doing TV. Shah Rukh Khan is the biggest example. So, you cannot really say that after doing TV you can’t really do films. You are no less than a film star because you put in hard work like they do. The medium does not matter, you are doing your job and that is what matters!
What are your plans ahead?
For now it is solely Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah. That's the only project I am doing. Future ka toh pata nahi (laughs)... currently this is the show I am enjoying working in. After being on the sets for so many hours, it’s not possible for me to do any other show.