Rakesh Bedi, who portrays Bhure Lal in the beloved show Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai on &TV, has played a variety of comical roles throughout his four-decade-long-acting career. He dominated comedy television and movies throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. With his unmatched talent, conviction, and expertise, Rakesh Bedi has consistently delivered flawless performances that have inspired the audience to believe in them. While his portrayal of Bhure Lal prompted the audience to fall off their seats. He talks about an array of topics, ranging from his comic characters to equations he shares with the directors and actors of Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai.
Tell us about your journey so far.
I completed my FTII course in Pune before starting my official career in film, and during my convocation performance, G.P. Sippy, Sir—who had just directed the smash-hit Sholay that year—asked me to come to Bombay and offered me a significant part in the movie Ahsaas! My foray into the Hindi film industry was done with this movie. My path has been lovely, and I am proud to say that despite having been in over 100 movies and television shows, I am one of the few actors who started their careers in theatre and are still associated with it. Theatre will always be my first love.
Who has been your role model as a theatre artist?
Charlie Chaplin was someone I had a crush on, so I watched all his movies and comedic performances. He was the one who, without saying a word, made everyone laugh, and that is what motivated me to pursue a career in theatre. I also enjoyed the amazing work of Johnny Walker, Sanjiv Kapoor, and Mehmood Sir.
What was the response you received for playing Bhure Lal in Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai?
There has always been a fantastic response. The Bhure Lal persona is incredibly popular. However, they also worry when I take off my helmet (laughs). When the audience appreciates me as Bhure Lal, I am overwhelmed. I frequently find myself giggling as I go through the countless hilarious and witty father-in-law memes created by Bhure Lal on social media.
What do you feel makes Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai more loved in comparison to other comedy shows?
I would say writing. Without a doubt! Our writer, Manoj Santoshi, can bring laughter with lines that have no humour in them. We just must deliver the line in a way that brings laughter.
You have been in this industry for a long time and have done various comedic and serious roles. However, people best remember you for your comic roles. What do you want to say about that?
I am grateful that people appreciate my work and show me such a lot of support. I have performed both serious and humorous roles concurrently, and I will continue to do so. In theatres, I have played a variety of serious characters. One of the most well-known is The Mouse Trap by Agatha Christie, in which I portrayed the drama's primary antagonist. I have performed 200 or so concerts, and it was a huge hit in London. Additionally, ‘Massage’, a piece by Vijay Tendulkar that I performed alone for two hours straight playing 24 various shades of personalities in a row, will always be my favourite.
Who has been your constant life support?
My family has been with me with all my thick and thins, especially my wife and two daughters.
You and Aasif Sheikh have worked as co-stars before as well. Does that equation also help you to portray the scenes humorously?
Every time I have a scene there, I enjoy going to the sets. We have worked on numerous plays, movies, and stage plays together. Aasif loves me so much, that we often make jokes about our past experiences while practising. There are times when Bhure and Vibhuti are having a drink together, and the characters' naïve antics are quite entertaining and relatable.
Apart from Aasif Sheikh, with whom do you have a strong bond in the Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai cast?
I don't have my regular scenes, but whenever I am on set, I have been pampered a lot by Shubhangi Atre (Angoori Bhabi). She takes care of everything like a daughter. So, our bond is not just onscreen but offscreen as well. We all have our lunch together whenever I am on set, and Shubhangi herself cooks for me and innocently says' Dadoo Khana Kha lo. Likewise, I share a great time with Rohit, chit-chatting about our theatre days and many political topics.
A message to all fans of Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai?
Everyone in their life should be able to laugh at themselves. Humour covers a lot of things at the same time, and it says more things than any message can say.