Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The feisty Ashwini Kalsekar is arguably one of the most talented actresses in tellywood today. Known for her inimitable styles, the lady carries off both positive and negative characters with Élan. Here she speaks about life, work, love and more.
Back as Jigyasa in the Zee/Balaji hit 'Kasamh Se'
Obviously it's great to be back. I missed the character a great deal, because in a way I had created that character, in terms of inputs and everything. I was so very into it. But full credit to Ekta (Kapoor) and Nivi (Nivedita Basu) for making the character the way it is. I am really very happy to be back.
Reunion of sorts on the sets
The day I got back turned out to be one exciting occasion. My rakhi brother Ram (Kapoor) was super excited. They knew before hand about the day I would be coming in and they were actually expecting me. We all hugged and met up like old pals. It was a pleasant re union.
The much discussed look of Jigyasa
When I was offered Jigyasa's character, I was doing 'K Street Pali Hill' and didn't want the same kind of look. In real life too, I wear big bindis and I think they look really nice on me. You know what I am talking about, the Dolly Thakore kind of a look. I really admired Sridevi's nose pins in 'Khuda Gawah' and I had a heavy one from Rajasthan. That's how the nose pin look happened.
As for the hair, we were mulling over a big wig but opted for my famous gelled back look from 'CID'. I must say it's very comfortable. Once your entire look is so comfortable, and you don't have to worry about small things like hair etc, you can concentrate fully on your performance and get into the skin of the character better. You are not conscious or anything of that sort. It's like wearing a night dress or jeans and tee shirt which you are comfortable in and getting to work.
Juggling various roles
In Zee's 'Parivaar', I did a cameo which I found very very interesting. It was a very dignified, calm and quiet character. It was positive and gave me a chance to do something new. 'Viruddh' again is very interesting but there I am like an on and off character. I don't have to shoot always. So now I am free to shoot for 'Kasamh Se' most of the time and am enjoying it fully.
The premature closure of Sony's 'Jeete Hain Jiske Liye'
I was very disappointed. I didn't expect it to end like that. In fact no one wants something so drastically bad to happen. When you barely start preparing for the character and when you are just getting into the groove, you don't want such things to happen. I was really working hard on the character and it was coming across well. Moreover 'Jeete Hain' had a fantastic team of talented actors and not just stars, which is hard to find today.
Managing to make characters look so very convincing
I take every role as a challenge. I have been accepted in negative and positive characters in the 9.30 and 10 pm slots on the same channel ('Kasamh Se' and 'Parivaar' on Zee). I strongly feel that the audiences should like what they see on screen and should get to see something different, not the same things over and over again.
Acting being inherent in her
Yes one can say so. Though I don't have a theatre background, my father is a theatre person. Also I am a classical dancer. So I guess I have the idea about the right expressions. Also I have got fabulous friends and family who give me all the feedback required. Murli (her boyfriend actor Murli Sharma) is a great actor and his support has also mattered a great deal.
Changes in the TV world since the mid 90s, the time you entered the industry
There are a lot of changes; no doubt. The changes have been both good and bad. Now it's an age of daily soaps. Though I too had done daily soaps like 'Shanti' and 'Farz' in the past, things were different then. It was a four camera set up. Now it's all about the TRP game.
The youngsters mug up lines and everything is in a kind of rush. Since I had worked in daily soaps, I was kind of already there. It was not too difficult for me to mould myself to the changing situations. But one major change I have noticed is in terms of the remunerations of the artistes. In those days, I and all my colleagues who started out then used to get a much better deal as far as the pay packages are concerned.
Now it's like a fight everyday since a lot of hard work goes into daily soaps. But payments are not as much as they used to be. I and all other senior colleagues discuss this very change at most times. Also earlier there was much quality and different types of shows available. It was not just the daily soap grind, as is the case today.
Experimenting with various looks
Yes I prefer different looks for different roles, wigs and all. I go to hair expert Aalim who styles my hair. As far as clothes go, I know what looks good on me. And now after my kind of experience, producers do ask for my inputs. They rather don't give me something which I might not like or might not be very happy with. They too feel that I am the best person to understand myself.
Talking of films, I would like to play nice character roles. I would love to play a very good cop's role. My cop roles in 'CID' and the ACP character in 'Siddhant' have been quite appreciated. So I am kind of confident about carrying it off. I also don't mind playing a nice double role. And I would love to work with Murli (Sharma). He is great on screen and also as a person. Also since no one has cast us together anywhere as yet. I would love to work with Aamir Khan, simply because he is a great actor. Also Abhishek Bachchan and Mr.Bachchan of course.
Handling the adulation
'Kasamh Se' has been extremely popular in the US. Jigyasa's character has been well received and that's how I got fans there. And on one of my trips to London, I had a real heart warming experience. I was busy clicking pictures of a statue of Lady Diana as I absolutely adore that lady. Then I was surprised to see people clicking my pics when I was busy doing just that. I have also received a lot of positive feedback for my characters in 'CID' and 'Siddhant', as well as my role in the film 'Khakee'. It feels really nice. But sometimes there is a feeling of burden too, of living up to the great expectations. One tends to get a little tense at times.
Settling down plans in the offing soon
Of course I want to settle down. You might just get wind of Murli and my plans soon. The good news would come maybe this year or the next. But I can say for sure that this is happening.