Hindi serials pay you to wait, not to act---Neena Kulkarni

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Posted: 6 years ago
Congratulations Neena ji aka Mrs Iyer on winning Filmfare best supporting actress award (Marathi). Neenaji gave interviews about tv and tv shows 7-8 years ago, her thoughts on the subject are shared below:

What do you dislike about television?

Everyone is working so fast to give or complete the episode that at times the actor becomes quite bale. As long as you say the lines properly it is okay. At times due to various constraints the shots are okayed even if they might not be perfect. There are quite a few people who are not serious actors and who are in this field because they happen to be good looking. Who spend their time on the sets yap-yap yapping away. Then there are people who are on a signing spree doing many serials at one time, while some are here for 'time-pass', which can get quite annoying.

Is that the reason why we often see people being replaced in serials?

Probably. The systems in place lead to a lot of insecurity. Then there are actors willing to work for lesser pay which makes even good actors go on signing sprees. The thinking being that you never know when the tide may turn against you. I feel that production houses should assure the actor about the contract and have some consistency in their dealings. And if there are sudden changes at an actor's expense then she should be compensated. I wonder if this will ever happen though.

I still think people shouldn't do too many serials as they are a killer as far as an actor is concerned. Ideally, I would like to take only a serial at a time but that doesn't usually happen. At one point I did a whole lot of pilots and they finally went on the floors over a period of a few years.

How do you work on your roles? Is acting in television easy?

Serial is more of spontaneity than anything else. Probably that is the reason most newcomers are doing well in serials without any background or any training. It is not about how well trained an actor you are. So I decided to use both together. I have picked up the skills over the years, self-taught by my peers, taught by my gurus. I don't read too much in the scene and the scripts are generally written one day in advance. But no, acting is not easy. Very few people survive serials and move onto the big screen, which is the true test. That is why you see 20 new faces but hardly one or two of them making it to the big screen.

How would you compare working in Hindi serials vis-a-vis Marathi serials?

I got into a Marathi daily Adhuri Ek Kahani two and a half years ago. I've done a few Hindi serials like Heena and SaarthiKayamath for Ekta Kapoor and now Ek Packet Umeed for Hats off on NDTV IMAGINE.

The budgets are remarkably different. Hindi serials are high on opulence and extravagance, but that also means wastage in terms of time, effort and money. Marathi serials have low budgets and are better organised. Once the sets and lights are ready, we shoot 13 to 14 scenes in a day .

(Laughs) I always say Hindi serials pay you to wait, not to act. Logic and content are still a valuable part of Marathi serials - though Adhuri was more like a Hindi serial, high on drama and camera movements. Marathi-knowing viewers reject a serial outright if they don't identify with it. They will not watch sub-standard stuff.

Apparently, initially you were uncomfortable with the Hindi TV set-up?

Yes I was because the shows are more youth-oriented. You're reduced to just one in a crowd. A stern look here, a smirk there and you're done.

Initially, it was difficult to accept the working conditions and the lack of good scripts, but I've realised one has to move with the times. TV is where all the action is today .

I tell myself, "Chalo at least the responsibility is not on me alone. I'm just one of the many characters. In Hindi I can't expect the kind of strong roles I get in Marathi serials."

Edited by RaimaV - 6 years ago
Posted: 6 years ago
Tfs she is completely right.Clap..so sad to see talent like hers being wasted in yhm ..CryOuch.. congrats to her for filmfare award SmileBig smile

Neena Kulkarni

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