Krishna Bhardwaj Exclusive Interview: If you are really talented, you get work in Mumbai
Exclusive interview of talented television actor Krishna Bhardwaj who is all set to play Tenali Rama in his next show on SAB TV.
Immensely talented and hard-working television actor, Krishna Bhardwaj, is all set to tickle the funny bones of the audience with his wit and humour in the forthcoming SAB TV show Tenali Rama. The actor, who has consistently given applaudable performances in a string of successful and popular shows like Jasuben Jayantilal Ki Joint Family, Sukh By Chance and R.K. Laxman Ki Duniya, is glad to have bagged such a powerful role at this stage of his career. And we are more than sure that with his extraordinary acting prowess and unmatched dedication, he is persuasively going to nail the character of Tenali Rama. BollywoodMBD reporter, Mohnish Singh, recently caught up with the dynamic actor at the launch of his much-awaited show at a suburb studio and tried to glean more information about his character, his inspiration, and what much more. Excerpts….
Krishna, tell us about your beginning in the field of acting.
I’ll start from my childhood. So, at the age of four, I started doing Akashvani and Doordarshan shows in Ranchi, which is my hometown. My father is also an actor in theatre and works with Akashvani and Doordarshan also. I first auditioned at the age of four and got through it. Afterwards, I also trained myself in various dance forms. I learnt Bharatnatyam for seven years followed up by several other dance forms. I opened my dance school in Ranchi, and then came to Mumbai.
I believe if you are really talented, you get work in Mumbai. The same happened with me. I came here and started getting work after a while. Initially, I only worked with Hats Off Productions. This (Tenali Rama) is my first serial outside Hats Off Productions. I have done four shows with them as a writer, assistant director and creative director.
As you just mentioned that you have worked a lot with Hats Off Productions. So how has been the experience working with them?
It has been phenomenal! If people like my work today, then a lot of credit goes to the whole team of Hats Off Productions. I am really grateful to Aatish Kapadia and Deepesh Shah. These are the people who taught me acting, writing and direction, something which is helping me a lot today. I have just wrapped up a Gujarati film with their team, where I also worked in the capacity of a co-writer, assistant director and male lead. It will be releasing in September.
We didn’t see you much on television in last couple of years. Why?
Yes, I was not doing much television in last 3-4 years. I won’t say I was flooded with a lot of offers and I declined them all. The reality is that I was not getting any offers. Every actor goes through the phase where he does not get work. But now I am back.
How did Tenali Rama happen?
I had auditioned for this show in October last year. It’s been almost eight months now. When I auditioned, the makers put a condition on me that I would have to shave my head off if I bagged the role. I didn’t take them seriously back then. But when the final meeting happened in April this year and everything was finalized, I realized there’s no escaping the fact that I needed to tonsure.
How were you feeling when your head was being shaved off?
I just went to a salon and, after closing my eyes, said to the barber to shave my head off. As an actor, we are very narcissist. We love our things a lot. We make ourselves believe that we are very good-looking and all. For a few second it was extremely difficult for me to see myself without hair on head, but then I got used to it.
Did not you think of using a wig instead of shaving your head off?
Never. I would never do that. It is better to accept yourself the way you are right now. Fakeness does not last long. It will somehow be caught on the screen for all to see.
So, is it difficult to carry this look?
No. As I said, I am used to it now. As I reach on the sets in the morning, the first thing they do is to shave my head off. I have become hairless now. I trim my chest almost every second day. I wax my back when needed. So, I am almost hairless.
How well do you know Tenali Rama? Did you read his stories in your childhood?
Yes, a lot. As I just mentioned that I am from Ranchi. So, we used to read books like Chanda Mama, Balhans, Champak and Nandan. My father has done PhD in Hindi on Mohan Rakesh’s stories, so there used to be a lot of books in the house. I grew up reading all those books. Tenali Rama’s story was a part of our syllabus in school. Though I had read a lot about him, I never knew he would be so fun-loving, naughty, manipulative and philosopher.
Did you do any special preparation to play this role?
No, I did not do anything. Everyone is asking me the same question, but, trust me, I have done nothing special except shaving my head off.
Is it going to be a finite series or the show will keep going on and on?
Frankly speaking, even I don’t have any idea about it. I think it will keep going on as long as TRPs keep coming in and people like us.
It’s been a couple of years since you started your journey as an actor. What next do you see yourself doing?
I really see myself doing good films, not as a main actor, though. I don’t want to become a hero. I am happy being a character artist. That’s why I am happy playing Tenali Rama, because he is not a typical hero. He is a character hero. His character is so powerful that ultimately makes him a hero. I don’t believe in heroism at all.
Who do you take your inspiration from as an actor?
I admire Ranbir Kapoor a lot. He is very natural and damn good at his job. His eyes speak a lot. Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s struggle, too, inspires me. I mean, if a person can struggle for fourteen long years and do odd jobs to fulfil his dreams, he can do just anything.
Tenali Rama to air on SAB TV from 11th July; Monday-Saturday at 8PM.