Ravi Bhatia, who was last seen in Zee TV’s Jodha Akbar is flying high these days. His realistic portrayal of Prince Salim made him extremely popular in Indonesia. His International series ‘Roro Jonggrang‘, in which he played the role of superhero recently went off-air. The actor with a fanatical fan following is enjoying ‘me’ time in Indonesia. Here are the excerpts of his interview:
After Jodha Akbar, what made you go for Indonesian shows?
I was quite surprised when I came to know that Jodha Akbar is very popular in Indonesia. When the show went off-air in India I got a call from Indonesian TV channel ANTV. They asked me whether I am interested in working with them? I was initially confused, but then I gave it a lot of thought. I realized working in Indonesia would be a great opportunity for me and the money they have offered added the cherry on the cake. So, finally decided to take a risk.
How is the work culture there different from the Indian work culture?
In India, we work round the clock to meet deadlines, here people are relaxed and calm due to which the stress level is very less. Technically Indian TV shows are far ahead, here the TV industry is still growing as far as creativity and technicality concerned.
Going to another country and being a part of their TV needs a lot of learning on the language. Have you faced the problem caused by the language barrier?
I was over the moon when I got the visa, but when I came here, I was literally scared of everything. Gradually I became comfortable with the surroundings. To deal with the language barrier, I started learning the Indonesian language. Although I am still not fluent in Bahasa Indonesia, but now I can manage well. Initially, while shooting, I used to say my dialogues in English, but now I try to say it in Indonesia.
Being the only Indian in the Indonesian show, do you feel that the people there have accepted you or do you feel like an outsider?
I never felt like an outsider, everyone welcomed me with open arms. Here people have a lot of respect and admiration for Indian actors.
How does it feel to be the only Indian small screen actor, starring in international shows?
If I say I am the only Indian actor, who worked in Indonesian series then it would be like stealing someone else thunder. Shaheer Sheikh, become immensely popular here after Mahabharta and he is like a superstar here. Well, working here is a great opportunity for me and I am grateful to the God for giving me a chance to explore new horizons.
When do we see you back in India and in Indian TV?
It’s been 9 months, since I came here. For next 3 months, I will be working with another Indonesian TV channel, hopefully after that I will be back to aamchi Mumbai.
How different are the shows there from the ones we see here in India?
The taste of the audience here is same as Indian viewers, but the shows here are more dramatic. The average airtime of daily soaps in India is around 22 minutes, but here the shows are telecast here for 1 hour minimum for 7 days a week. There are some shows with airtime of 2-3 hours. Unlike India, where we get BARC ratings on a weekly basis, here we get ratings on the next day of the telecast. The ratings system here gives more clearer picture about the show’s popularity.
What next after ‘Roro Jonggrang’?
I have got couple of offers but as of now everything is up in the air. Currently I am on a break and I am enjoying it very much.