What prompted you to take up Rangrasiya?
To tell you honestly, the creative team involved in the show is very good and when you know you have a good creative team you cannot go wrong. I was attracted to the show because of them. I had seen the first episode of Madhubala and I remember Drashti Dhami was in it. She is a good friend and I told her that the first episode itself blew me away.
Chhanchhan too was from a small village, how similar or different is your character in Rangrasiya to the one in Chhanchhan?
Yes, Chhanchhaan too was from Lucknow and was not a poised or a modern city girl but at the same time she was not a village girl too and was quite confident in her attitude. Coming from a village background Parvati on the other hand is a bit shy and reserved.
What was the brief given to you about Parvati in Rangrasiya?
Ashish was given a brief about Othello since his character is one dimensional and will stay that way for a long, long time but I was not given any brief since Parvati as a character has not been inspired by any other character. I was told that it is a very real character which will change as per the story and as per the circumstances. It was different from other characters so I was trying to understand how I am going to portray it but Saurabh (Saurabh Tiwari) sir said It's a very real character 'jo koi hasayega to hasegi, koi rulayega to royegi' so she is a reserved character and not an outgoing, open person. She has innocence and wants simple things in life.
The story seems to be complex with Parvati's character coming across as a strong one, was it easy to mould yourself in it?
My director Siddhrath Sengupta taught me a lot about the character. Initially, I was not laughing a lot and he was like it is not like that... he made me understand that Parvati is a coy girl but when she is happy she will have to smile. I then learned that however shy Parvati may be and even if she is sitting with her parents she will smile and laugh, but of course when she goes in the outside world things change but home is different and outside world is different, situations change a person since I think we all are what we are when situations happen and that is what happens to Paro too.
I have to wear lots of jewellery and there is a just a slight touch of the Rajasthani accent and since it is a Hindi show we don't want people to wonder what was said but then sometimes there is that hint in family scenes. It was very difficult for me since I just about speak Hindi so it was hard but it was a challenge too as an actor and I was very excited to learn a new thing. It was hard initially since there are long dialogues but I will get there.
And have you got into the character now?
It is a very big challenge and I am still very stressed about the character and not sure whether I am doing the right thing or not but I have people to guide me and I am keeping my fingers crossed. In the initial days I used to get upset after the shoot, since I could not understand what I am doing with the character but it is good now. Earlier, I was also stressed when I was playing Khushi in Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon so I hope even this turns out well.
Ashish is a very, very talented actor and when I did the look test with him I was like please God keep him in the show since I think that whenever you have a good actor it changes the dynamics of the show. Ashish is so good that I have a lot to learn from him. I think after working and learning from Supriyaji (Supriya Pathak) in Chhanchhan I will learn a lot from him. I am blessed to have him in this show.
And how has it been shooting with him?
I have got a good response about my chemistry with Ashish right from the first day that the promos hit the screen and till now we have got nothing but good comments. There were times when some people were disappointed that it was not Barun Sobti with me but let me assure everyone that once the show goes on air in some days everyone will change their mind about our Jodi. I feel that when you have a good actor who can convince you about the story and the character the entire dynamics change and I am 100% sure that Ashish has done that.
Do you say this after the Chhanchhan debacle where you were cast opposite newcomer Farhan Khan?
I have been actually lucky to have good co-actors but in Chhanchhan that guy was relatively new but then so was Mohit Sehgal in Miley Jab Hum Tum and that doesn't change anything. However, it helps when you work with a good actor because that changes the dynamics of a scene. You can improve as an actor and when you have a good actor opposite you and the whole scene is bound to change.
What did you feel after Chhanchhan's sudden end and do you regret it?
I am happy since if Chhanchhan didn't end I would not have got Rangrasiya so I believe that in life everything happens for a reason. And for me something bigger and better like Rangrasiya had to come my way. I don't regret doing Chhanchhan or anything else in life because Chhanchhan too taught me a lot in life. I think I have been lucky in the industry, with the shows I got, with actors I worked with so everything has always fallen into place. So when something like this happens I have to think twice and say Oh, so this is what I have to take care of the next time' which is what I have learned from Chhanchhan.
In Rangraisya the story is the real hero of the show. I cannot reveal the story but it will keep everybody going. It's is very intense and everyone says that there show is different than the other shows but in our case all I can say is that the story is very, very strong.
In the promos so far we see that Ashish's character is shown killing your husband, and then we also know that it is your love story, how can you fall in love your husband's killer?
I cannot comment on that and no one can make any comments or judgement before watching the show. And this is the main reason you should watch it to wonder why and how this happens and why despite Rudra (Ashish Sharma) killing Parvati's husband does she fall in love with him? I cannot comment as it is a very big thing in the story.
Are you interested in doing films and reality shows?
No I am not interested in doing films as I am old now (laughs)... but on a serious note I have never had any fascination for Bollywood and will do a film only if a good project comes my way, otherwise no!
Talking about reality shows, I was offered Nach Baliye season 6 and Rangrasiya both at the same time but I didn't do Nach Baliye and opted for Rangrasiya. I am an actor and fiction will always be my priority as an actor. I will never do work for fame or money but for my love of it so my pick was Rangrasiya.
You have been always loved by the audience, what do you feel about this show?
I am 100%
that the show will be accepted. I was not sure about Chhanchhan but here I am
very sure. I have never been afraid about acceptance and I have always been
accepted as an actor. And I think all actors have hits and flops in their life but
that doesn't take away from the talent they have. The biggest example of this I
think is my co-star Ashish Sharma who is the most underrated actor on TV in
these times. I really do feel that and hopefully this is going to do wonders for
him since there are people who can see his talent like Saurabhji who is working
with him for the third time now. So if you have the talent you have nothing to
be afraid of and so far everything has gone right with this show. Touch wood.
We wish Sanaya all the very best for her show!
Seema Khot Mattoo