Krishna Bharadwaj has impressed fans with his performance in Television. He has given us some best roles in shows like Jasuben Jayantilaal Joshi Ki Joint Family, Sukh By Chance, R. K. Laxman Ki Duniya and Piya Basanti Re among others.
His recently show Tenali Rama on SabTV since past 4 years is a biggest hit.
While in Conversation with UrbanAsian, Krishna Bharadwaj opens up about how he is spending his quarantine days, about his Gujrari debut, about his famous show Tenali Rama, his character and more.
How are you spending your quarantine days?
– I’m spending my quarantine by getting refreshed and rejuvenated as with the continuous shooting for Tenali Rama, life was quite fast and hectic. There was no time to breathe or even relax or to do anything I wanted to do other than acting and shooting but this quarantine has given me the time to get refreshed and rejuvenated, to sleep, to rest, to eat and to do anything I wanted to do. I read a lot of books which I always wanted to read but couldn’t because of the shooting timings. I cooked a few dishes also which were a hit, they were nice and tasty. I meditated a lot, so this quarantine phase has given a new meaning to life; I’m all refreshed and rejuvenated to go out after the lockdown and start life and shooting up fresh.
Once this lockdown is over what is the first thing you are going to do out of home?
– First thing after this lockdown is over, I’m going to book a ticket and go to my home town, meet my parents and hug them really tight because they are alone there and I’m missing them a lot. I talk to them 4-5 times day, video calls them but I really need to hug them tightly. So that will be the first thing I’m going to do and I’m going to meet a few of my friends, go out have a few drinks and eat good food at my favorite restaurant.
Many people who land in the city of dreams want to become an actor and very few succeed. How did it all start for you, was acting always on your mind?
– I started acting at the age of four in my hometown in local Akashvani and Doordarshan as my dad is an actor there and a theatre director also. So he made me audition in Akashvani and I started acting in those radio dramas. As far as I remember, since the time I started talking I used to say I want to become an actor. It all started from there with my dad as I saw him acting in front of so many audiences in the theatre of Akashvani and Doordarshan that I always wanted to become an actor.
In 2004 I came to Bombay I did my course and then started auditioning. So I kept doing a few of the other stuff in these past 13- 14 years but Tenali Rama became the first hit of my life.
You have given a face to the amazing character that we use to read in books. Since last 4 years your show Tenali Rama is receiving a great response. How is the feeling after receiving so much love from your fans?
– Kind of love I receive from fans is simply overwhelming as Tenali Rama became an instant hit after it came on air and people started following me, recognizing me, kids got fond of me. People at times I remember, come and touch my feet and asks for my blessings, so that’s the kind of love and respect I’m getting from my fans across the world. It’s a great feeling for an actor when your work is recognized and people really like you and loves you. It’s exceptionally great for me because whatever love and respect I get, I get it for my work and not for my look, my style, or physique. Because I’m just a normal actor, I’m not a very good looker, I think but my audience find me really cute and this is the first time a bald guy is playing the lead character which is a hit. So it again gives me immense pleasure in receiving love from all the people. It feels really, really great.
How is it playing Rama’s son, Bhaskar? What difference do you see in father and son?
– So when Bhaskar got introduced I was feeling a little monotonous in playing the same character for 2 1/2 years that was Rama. Then I got to know Bhaskar is coming in the scene, so Bhaskar is totally different from the character of Rama, Rama is very intelligent and little matured now, he has seen life and understands things better, doesn’t hurry in doing things but Bhaskar is the new young generation full of enthusiasm, excitement and is always in a rush to do things without even thinking much. And it’s really great for an actor to play these different kinds of characters. I really loved playing both the characters as they are so different and for Bhaskar’s character I wear a wig to show Bhaskar with hair and Rama is bald, so I get two looks to play. It is rear for a male actor to get such kind of roles to play in Indian television as it majorly has the women audience, and we male actors don’t find much to do on T.V other than saas-bahu sagas and Nagin and everything runs more than the comedy show or slice-of-life shows. But Tenali Rama worked big time and as an actor, I love to play these characters which are so distinctly different from each other.
While researching about you I came across the fact that you shaved your head for this role. In the past years have you ever felt like growing it?
– Yes, I shaved my head for this character because of the condition that they’ve put that if you get the role you need to shave your head for the character. So firstly, I didn’t want to do it at all because we actors need to keep our looks and everything in style and intact. So there was a big decision I took, I shaved my head in 2017 that has been 3 years now and all this while I kept missing my hair badly, very badly. I had very good, thick, and wavy hair, and I always miss my hair though this quarantine has helped me grow back my hair. It’s been almost 50 days now that we are locked and my hair has grown back and I love my look right now. I was also scared that by shaving I might lose my hair because I shaved every day for Tenali Rama but no and I’m really happy to see my hair is back and it’s the same.
How was your experience in your Gujarati debut film Chal Man Jeetva Jaiye? Did you learn Gujarati for it or you already knew it?
I’m a co-writer and assistant director of this Gujarati movie, “Chal Man Jeetva Jaiye”. When I was out of work before Tenali Rama, I started doing a lot of theatres and got into writing so that’s when I along with the director wrote the film in Hindi and I didn’t know Gujarati. I understand Gujarati a little bit but I was never fluent or never even tried to speak in Gujarati but because I knew the character in the story so well I learned Gujarati for 2 two months, put in a lot of efforts to learn. And it was easier for me to play this character in Gujarati because I was the co-writer and I knew what was happening. So I especially learned Gujarati for that film and people still can’t believe that I’m not a Gujarati because they think I’ve spoken it so well. Again it was a very good experience. Acting in a different language film was really difficult but as I said I knew the content and everything, made it easier for me to speak in Gujarati.
Is featuring in a Bollywood movie on the cards or will you mostly only concentrate on Television?
– Getting featured in a Bollywood film is definitely on the cards and that’s my ultimate aim to achieve. During Tenali Rama I got two offers for Bollywood films but I couldn’t do it because I was bound by the contract, but I’m really looking forward to getting into Bollywood with some good performances and characters to play after Tenali Rama. So yes Bollywood is on the cards and I also see myself directing my own film in a few years. So I also want to become a director in the coming years and it’s going to be my own written film too.
Giving a show such a long time is a great thing, but don’t you think it has restricted you to get into other projects? Do you fear being typecast in such roles in the future?
– Definitely, I got restricted to get into any other projects because so many offers I’ve got in these 3 years but I couldn’t do it because of Tenali Rama. But I have no regrets at all because I was out of work for years before Tenali Rama and life was a mess without any work, no social or personal life, nothing. So I have seen that life and that’s why I’m grateful for Tenali Rama to happen in my life. Yes, as an actor I’m restricted to do a lot of other stuff because of Tenali Rama but I have no complaints about it Tenali Rama has given me a vast range of acting capacity. I have played so many emotions and expressions that I don’t miss playing anything other than that. I’m playing a double role in it so I have so many characterizations in both the characters which are different and which are difficult at times but I’m really happy that I’m playing both the characters. I’m not afraid of getting typecast, first, because as soon as I will grow my hair back the image will change, the image will break, the image of Tenali Rama will totally break and you will see a new person.
Second, I believe that no actor can be typecast if he is a good actor and I really want to achieve that where I can play any kind of character people still think that he has worked differently in all the characters he has played. So I’m not afraid of getting typecast at all.
An important message that you would like to give to your fans during these hard times?
– We all know that we are going through this crisis right now so instead of feeling negative, getting disappointed, it’s better that we all see this positive change in the world, our lives and in everything. Life was really tough; life was in a mess, it was all about rushing before this lockdown. This quarantine phase has taught us that everything needs to breathe. The earth is breathing again, so I would like everybody to go and make your relationships and friendships better, make the bond better with your loved ones because you will never get this chance to spend this time in your own home with your loved ones. This is a great time to nurture that love, to nurture your relationship with your parents, your spouse, your brothers- sisters and friends. This is the best period to look within to find yourself, to make a new good habit and leave an old habit. So I love this phase where I learned a lot about myself and my relationships and I guess everyone should do that.