He represents the ‘New Generation Bloke’ of the Television Industry. The Dashing Ali Merchant rose to fame with his character of Bharat Agarwal in Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki; he has the credit of portraying versatile roles in Sshh Koi Hai and Mano Ya Na Mano. Now this ‘Gen Next’ lad is all set to play Akshat in Sony’ Amber Dhara, and get into the lives of the conjoined twins.
Here is a chit chat with the young debonair star Ali Merchant..
Welcome as the new Akshat, how is the experience so far..
It feels good. I got a chance to catch up on a few episodes, and have been shooting for the last 5 days. I guess I am slowly blending in with Akshat's character. I was briefed about the characters by the team and I have tried my best to adapt to the story line.
How do you plan to fit in as Akshat, with the exit of Harshad now?
Well, it's going to take a while for the audience to adapt to the change, I have brought in my own style to the character, but there are certain parameters that I cannot cross, its like, I have a boundary that I can’t completely do what i want to, since the character was played by someone else till now.
Take us thro’ your other projects..
I was part of the new generation in Kahaani, that was my big break you can say. I used to do Sshhh Koi Hain, and I continue doing that, and for 4 days a month, I shoot for a live game show called Bollywood Bonanza. Kahaani was fun, I got to be completely negative, and I really enjoyed doing that.
Then why did you quit Kahaani?
Well, my one year contract with them got over, and then I just decided to opt out of it, as it wasn’t something I was happy doing.
You played a negative there, and an extreme positive here, your take on both?
I loved playing negative, because you have the liberty to do whatever you want. In a positive role, there are certain rules that you have to follow, and in the extreme negatives, people begin seeing you as negative. My dadi used to always tell me that she has begun feeling that I am like Bharat, but I had to convince her that I am not (laughs)
So, are you trying to break thru the negative image with Akshat's character?
So in real life, who do you relate to more, Bharat or Akshat ?
I guess I am a good boy from the inside, but I portray a bad image.
How is it working with the girls, Amber and Dhara?
Oh its been fun!! The girls, the director, the entire unit is all simply rocking!
Final question, your take on the concept.
The concept is something that has never been done, I don’t know how long will it go for, as long as the audience likes it, the show will keep going on... See, with a saas bahu show that is like a show like balaji, one can predict that the show might hit a few years, and given a generation leap, it is going to extend, but with shows that are so real like Amber Dhara, one can’t really say...
Harshad Chopra as Akshat had really won the hearts of one and all. Now Ali Merchant is right up there, to give the character of Akshat, his name, flair and his trademark style.. Here's wishing Ali Merchant all the very best for his new role!!
Reporter: Hiral Anju Bhatt