What is the concept of Band Baja Bandh Darwaza?
Band Bajaa Bandh Darwaza, is a light-hearted horrorcomedy. It’s a situational comedy rather than being in the slapstick humor zone.
Tell us something about your character, Sajeev Sharma
Sanjeev Sharma is a typical middle-class family man. He hasn’t had too many wishes in life, however, due to twist of fate he is left by his bride on the wedding day. His only desire in life was to earn money and have a settled family but unfortunately, his dream of settle family remains unfulfilled. Hence, he has come back to complete his unfulfilled desires after his death.
There have been many horror comedy shows on television. What makes this show different from others?
I don’t know because I don’t watch too much television shows, as I am generally a news buff man. I don’t believe in comparing like “this is better, and this isn’t”. I feel art is always different and unique. We all have different teams, directors, cast, etc. so, it depends. However, these days’ people are eliminating the concept of having a director in television, which is disappointing. Our director, Maqbool is an amazing man and I feel sad with the fact that the importance of directors for a TV show is going away. I can’t say how this show is different, but I would love to say that the team and the writing of this show is amazing. It is a very intelligent writing, which relates to the current scenario of the society.
This role is a first of its kind for you. How did you prepare for the role of a ghost?
For me, it was a matter of keeping the ghost realistic. The ghost doesn’t have any artificial teeth or horns; it is like a human most of the times and has little aspects for ghostly effect. I also took some references for this role, for example the film ‘Mummy’ had a lot of realism in the characters. After a lot of research, we characterized this ghost as a good human, who doesn’t hurt others to an extent that they cannot recover. Rather, he just tries to scare them in a light comic manner. The idea was that how would a man, from a middle-class family and who doesn’t know how to harm others, enact in such situations.
How would you tackle a heartbreak if you had been in Sajeev’s place?
I don’t take such things very seriously. As an artist, you usually don’t care too much about these matters as you are anyway living life in a different zone. I never took the burden of a normal life and always lived an abnormal life. Abnormal, not in terms of something that needs treatment, but in the sense that I took life in a very light manner. While doing theatre, I also had to remain hungry for 5 days. However, at that time, I never thought that I would die out of hunger, as it’s part of life. I never lived to earn an Audi or a penthouse. My first priority is always acting rest all will come timely.
Would you go to this extent to take revenge from someone?
No, I would never.
What are your expectations from this show and what do you think will audience like in this show?
I have very high expectations from this show not because I am working in it, but because the writing is so beautiful. In addition, it is not a slapstick comedy in which you will watch and laugh out aloud, rather it will make you smile and tickle at times. The show has a very relatable content, according to today’s generation. Every family has some little arguments and kids these days are very transparent, confident and honest with their parents and don’t live their life by hiding things. These elements of realism is included in the show through its characters.
What made you take up this role?
The biggest reason for taking up this role was the director of the show, Maqbool and the writer, Amitosh. I feel today’s television industry is bigger than any other industry, in terms of money or other factors. The thing that excited me the most was the script of the show. Another thing that appealed is that it’s a limited episode series, which is very unique, and you have certain freedom in a finite unit. We have already shot for a month and hence, there is no pressure while performing.
What do you prefer more- Films or Television?
It is all about content and good work for me. If someone plans of making Mirza Galib or Bharat Ek Khoj again, I would love to do those as well. Naturally, Cinema is magic and you watch the response of viewers for every movie in the cinema hall, whereas, you can’t feel the response of television as you watch it alone. This is the only difference between the two.
You have been doing comedy and horror roles, but what genre do you prefer the most?
I love every role that brings me out of my comfort zone. A lot of people complain that they don’t feel comfortable doing certain roles but I never came into acting to stay in my comfort zone. Comedy is not something comfortable according to my personality but I break myself for that. It’s a tragedy that the audience doesn’t give respect to the actors who do comedy and take them for granted. Actors playing serious and intense roles are taken very seriously as compared to the ones playing comic roles.
How has the experience been shooting, so far?
First two days were a little difficult getting into the character. We rehearsed and tried to tune the character and we are still exploring. Since, we have shot for 5-6 episodes, we are now waiting for the edit to analyze and tune the character accordingly. Honestly, the first 2 days were a bit challenging to adapt the behavior and mannerism of the character, as there is a lot of transition in his role since there is some interaction with the audience and then suddenly back to being a ghost.
Do you watch Sony SAB channel and any favourite show?
Taarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashmah is something I have watched a lot. That family makes me giggle a lot. I am sure it is a favorite of many other people and not only mine.
Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever had an encounter with ghosts/ spirits?
I have not encountered ghost as such but I think I have felt the presence of a power, around 20 years ago on the Ghats of Banaras. I firmly believe that there are bad and good energies surrounding us.
If you were Rocky, how would you tackle the ghost?
I would tackle it in a very friendly manner by saying that “Tell me your problem and I’ll sort it out for you.”
What advice would you give to the people who get scared of ghosts or spooked easily?
I would say you have one life so minimize you fears by trusting on yourself.
Is there any similarity between your character and you in real life?
Not at all. However, the way I am shaping the character to be modest and the one who knows its limits, that resembles to me in real life. I firmly believe that if you value others, only then will you be valued.
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