After anchoring several shows on television channels Aishwarya Sakhuja found it really challenging to step into the shoes of an actor.
The actress shares the experiences of playing the lead in Sony's Saas Bina Sasuraal with Tellybuzz, and also shares her experience on the sets of the show and the challenges she faces in an 'only men' family..
It's not just about bagging the show, people from Optimystix called me for auditions and after several rounds of auditions I got through the show.
How is Toasty different from Aishwarya?
There are similarities as well as dissimilarities between Aishwarya and Toasty. Both believe that life is good and both are optimistic, but at the same time Toasty is extremely energetic and very open which in actual I am not, as I take time to open up to people.
You had worked as a host on Zoom, Sony TV, Zee Sports et al. What were the challenges that you had to face while jumping into a daily soap?
It is tough to be as an actor when you have done anchoring. As an anchor you can take the call on the clothes you wear, the way you look and the way you speak and present yourself, whereas at the same time when you switch to acting, those calls are being attended by others on the sets. There are people to tell you what you have to wear, what you are going to speak and to think the way you will be portrayed. So that was a great challenge for me as I have no say in it. And in this daily soap I am working with renowned actors and in order to keep my face, I needed to work a lot and that was a great challenge.
What do you enjoy more, hosting or acting?
I love both anchoring as well as acting. I adore anchoring because that's my baby now and I am extremely comfortable in the skin of an anchor. But at the same time as an actor you get more visibility and now people recognize me as Toasty and I feel extremely happy about it.
Your show has a backdrop wherein you are in a family of only men, what were the challenges doing such a role?
There were great challenges lying in front of me in this show. When the Producer described the role, he said "Laad ladaathi ladki hain". That was a big challenge as in real life I am not at all a person like that. Toasty is a person who is really comfortable with people around her including men, whereas I am more comfortable with women. Toasty is tremendously energetic and Aishwarya, to turn into Toasty, that too after coming on the sets early in the morning missing sleep, is really a tough task (Laughs).
How is it working with Ravi Dubey?
Ravi is a great person to work with. As he has also done shows earlier, he helps me with the lines and gives me tips on how I can improve myself. At the same time he has a great sense of humour and it is real fun on the sets with him.
The storyline reminds us of Satte Pe Satta, whats the difference?
Satte Pe Satta had a group of seven brothers whereas in Saas Bina Sasural, there are various relations involved. Satte Pe Satta was out and out, a comedy movie whereas the show is not at all a sitcom. In the movie Hema Malini had her own set of problems and here, I have a different set of problems that you will have to watch in the coming episodes.
What was the first shot for the show and how was it?
The first shot that I gave was the first shot of the serial, where the situation is my mother's dream sequence wherein, I am dressed up as a bride. I am not at all a feminine girl and very Tomboyish and when I gave the first shot, the director said 'cut' followed by everyone laughing. I was totally confused till the director said "you are a bride and you have to act shy"
Memorable moments on the sets
Since I am from the anchoring world and just stepping into a daily soap, there were times when I used to just break down and think this is not my cup of tea. Once my associate director came towards me and said that I should start opening up to people around me and then I will not feel let down and it will help me to grow as an actor. After that, I took his advice and within five days I felt a great change around me as I felt really comfortable being an actor.
We also hear that you are the only female actor on the sets most of the time. Are you pampered?
I feel privileged in that matter and I am pampered like anything (laughs). I am allowed to give retakes as I am new to this industry and the team that I am working with is extremely positive, a great team where I never feel stressed out.
Were you offered other shows earlier?
Yes, there have been shows offered to me, but I was very clear in my decision of not doing a typical 'Saas Bahu' show wherein there is a lot of 'Rona Dhona' and the shows that had approached me were of those lines. But Saas Bina Sasural had a completely different concept that attracted me.
Are you looking for a Bina Saas ke Sasural or a normal family?
On a professional note I am looking forward for a Sasural bina saas ke, but on a personal note, I would never want a house like that. I want a complete family and especially a Saas because as I said earlier I am more comfortable with women than men, otherwise I might die.
Why did you select a show from Sony because fiction shows in Sony have not worked lately?
Personally I feel Sony is a brave channel as they have been coming up with shows like 'Mahi Way' and 'Rishta.Com' which I loved watching. They are trying to show that there is a different set of people who watch such shows and they are trying to establish that audience on a large scale.
I was born in a small town called Wellington in Ooty but basically a Punjabi. I am an army kid, my dad was in Army and my mother was a teacher and my brother is a dentist in Army. I have travelled a lot and I have completed my BA in English from Delhi at Hindu College. My dad was against my modeling, but after I won a small pageant called 'May Queen Ball', an Army pageant, dad was really happy and he said that I had the potential. When I took part in Miss India 2006 he was the one who was always there with me to help me out.
This is your first daily soap as a main lead, how did your family react?
They were very happy and I was flooded with calls. My dad said that even though I did not have any contacts in the industry when I had started, I have reached till here and he is proud of me.
Your message to the fans
Please keep watching the show and I congratulate the people of Mumbai for the way they have been treating animals. I love animals and I have seen that the stray dogs are given food by the people here which I never found in Delhi. Thank you for being so brilliant with animals.
Reporter and Author: Saranya Valsarajan