Isn't Ek Se Badkar Ek your first attempt at anchoring a reality show?
Yes. I am quite excited about the fact that it is for the first time that I am anchoring a reality show for a satellite channel. What I liked the best about the offer when Zee TV approached me and asked me whether I would like to anchor the show Ek Se Badkar Ek is that they wanted me to be just me.
What does it mean?
The channel just wants me to be what I am in real life - Ravi Kishen and there is no script as such for the show, which requires me to be quite spontaneous. Spontaneity is the USP of the show.
How has the experience of being on the small screen been?
It is not that I am making my debut on TV. Earlier I had not only acted in a couple of TV serials but also been a celebrity guest on the reality show Big Boss and a judge on the reality show Yeh Hai Jalwa on air on 9X. What makes my job as an anchor in this show is that I am entirely on my own on a different tangent in this show. Like in Big Boss, I am a one Man show in this show, too, though there are several celebrities who are singers and dancers, besides me.
In what way is the show Ek Se Badkar Ek different
This show is quite unique because it is for the first time that there is a reality show in which you can get to see singer and dancers displaying their talent in one single platform for the nation to judge. If one is weak, the other has got to perform or else there is the danger that both of them will be declared out .The show will keep you on the edge of the seat with its rocking moments.
Tell me frankly. Is it the money offered which lured you to say yes to the show?
Money is not the only criterion for which I have decided to do the show though I should confess that I have been offered good money to host the show. I have been offered a lot of money earlier to host various shows but I had turned them all because I cannot let my image be spoiled after having been in this industry as an actor for nearly twenty years. I am very keen on striking the right balance and see that I maintain my name as well as respect.
What is your job as the anchor of the show?
My job as the anchor is not just to be a passive anchor. I have to watch the performance of the celebrity participants, pamper them and become India's voice. Whatever complaints people have about the reality shows, which are proliferating these days, I will set out to solve them. It will not be a fake show. I will not bully anyone or let anyone bully me. We will of course create drama but the channel will not pressurize either me or any of the participants in any way.
What is the brief given to you by the channel?
My brief is that whatever may the circumstances be, I will have to tell the truth. If the judges give a wrong judgment, I will not even hesitate to tell them the truth. I will function as the kavach of the participants. It will be my job to tell the judge whether any participant has danced in spite of having a ligament tear or a bout of flu.
Isn't it a disadvantage that the show is on air at 7.30 pm?
The biggest challenge the show and I have to face is that it is on air at 7.30 pm. Yet I promise that it will be a rocking paisa vasool show for the viewers. Remember when I set my foot first in the Bhojpuri film industry it was not a flourishing industry as it is now. It was a bhanjar zameen. Till date I have never resorted to any short cut in life to success. I have climbed the ladder by inching up the hard way. The biggest difference between the other star anchors of the reality shows and me is that I have a command over the language, which I speak in the show. I am selling maa ke haath ka khaana, not just pizza and burgar. Though the other star anchors interact with the common men in their game shows, I will interact with 18 singers and dancers and also remember all their names. I will mouth such rare phrases that it will appeal to the people instantly. It is going to be bloody rocking show.
What is your take on reality shows on TV?
I can never forget the fact that it is Big Boss, a TV reality show that has made me known to each and every one in every nook and corner in our country though earlier I was known only in the Bhojpuri belt, though I had acted in several Hindi films earlier, too. In fact I bagged the offer to play the role of Ramdeo in Shyam Benegal's film Sajjanpur Ka Mahadeo only because Shyambabu had seen me in Big Boss.
What is your role in Sajjanpur Ka Mahadeo?
It has been an experience of a lifetime working with a legendary maker like Shyambabu in his film. I play a compounder in love with a child widow played by Rajeshwari in his film. My co-stars in the film are Shreyas Talpade and Amrita Rao. It is a passionate love story.
How was it working with a director like Shyam Benegal?
Working in Shyambabu's film was like getting an actor's certificate from an acting school. I'd say that I have grown as an actor ever since Shyambabu cast me in his film. It has been an eventful journey for me as an actor ever since I had made my debut with Pitambar.
Which are the other films in your kitty?
Besides Shyambabu's film, you would also see me in films like Soham's Luck in which Aamir Khan's nephew Imran Khan and Kamal Haasan's daughter Shruti play the main lead, besides Sanjay Dutt, and Mithun Chakraborty and there is Money Hai Toh Honey Hai in which my co-star is Govinda. I have also signed Shyambabu's next film Chamki and Ajay Phansekar's Mukti in which Sanjay Dutt will be my co-star for producer Popcorn.
Which are your five best films till date as an actor?
Tere Naam, Sajjanpur Ka Mahadev, Udhaar Ki Zindagi, Army and Money Hai Toh Honey Hai are my best films till date as an actor.
Are you ready to be a part of the second season of Big Boss?
Though I concede that Big Boss fetched me a lot of recognition all over the country, all said and done, I'd be frank enough to confess that I am not game to take part in yet another season of Big Boss, because I cannot go through the turmoil which I went through while taking part in the show all over once again.