I’m very old-fashioned: Bhagyashree

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I’m very old-fashioned: Bhagyashree

Maine Pyar Kiya’s Bhagyashree indulges in a bit of nostalgia as she talks up her new TV series

By Enid Parker (enid@khaleejtimes.com)

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Published: Wed 23 Jul 2014, 12:54 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 8:01 PM

Supplied photo

Supplied photo

The lovely and seemingly ageless Bhagyashree is probably best known for her debut film Maine Pyar Kya, a sweet and unforgettable romantic tale whose popularity has not waned since its release in 1989.

While this immensely likeable actress did not actively pursue a Bollywood career after the box office smash of her first film, appearing only in a handful of roles over two decades, she retains the girl-next-door charm that had audiences flocking to theatres all those years ago.

As she chatted with City Times about her new TV series Laut Aao Trisha, which also stars Jai Kalra, Rajeshwari Badola and Eijaz Khan, Bhagyashree indulged in a bit of nostalgia about simpler times in Bollywood and how her former co-star Salman Khan has come full circle since his Maine Pyar Kiya days.

Laut Ao Trisha is based on a Spanish telenovela. How is it different from shows on Indian television today, most of which are family dramas and have rather stereotypical characters?

It is the journey of a mother who is searching for her missing daughter and how circumstances show her that people she thought were close to her are probably not. Relationships change in the face of hardship, some of them stand the test of time and some of them don’t. When faced with adversity, people’s true colours come out and you realise how two-faced some relationships are.

Another important aspect of our serial is that we bring into the spotlight the issue of family crime, a subject which is usually pushed under the carpet. In today’s changing world this is a problem that we all need to address because most crimes are committed by people known to the victim.

This is a very different kind of show from the pacing to the technical aspects; it’s almost as good as films. We have a terrific cast, a very good-looking cast (laughs). You’ll see a lot of pleasant faces, which is great when you’re watching television day after day.

The show is very realistic. We are playing real characters with shades of grey. It’s not like – this is a good daughter-in-law so she’ll always be good and the whole serial revolves around making her life miserable, or here’s a mother-in-law who’s so bad she becomes like the villain of the century. I sincerely believe there is good and bad in all of us, and I think it’s circumstances that bring forth those aspects in a person’s character. These are characters you can really identify with.

Most Indian TV serials tend to revolve around similar themes. How do you feel audiences will react to this show?

There is always a phase for everything. I would say it’s like a buffet… if you don’t serve a dish how would you know if a person likes it or not? You have to experiment; Michelin star restaurants get their stars by producing something different and offering it to people who understand what gourmet is. I would credit my audience with having a taste for gourmet and I think they would like something that’s presented differently but presented well; our show promises all that.

How different is the show from the original telenovela?

To be very honest I haven’t seen the original. But of course since it’s for Indian audience it has been modified to adapt to Indian sensibilities. We are following the basic storyline of the Spanish serial.

Bollywood is ever-changing and the scene now is different from when you made your debut. How do you feel about contemporary Bollywood?

There are both pros and cons as far as modern Bollywood films are concerned. The thing that I miss is the simple, pure romance, which I think was really nice in the time that we were making films. It was very innocent, very pious. Today love has a different meaning. It is a fast moving-fast thinking generation which kind of makes me very nostalgic. I’m very old-fashioned where love is concerned. Apart from that I feel with Bollywood changing their scripting methods a lot more new subjects have come up, giving the audience a real variety in their buffet! If we don’t offer them something new, which fortunately has been the trend of recent times, we will not know their changing tastes. I think our audience is growing up and we need to give them something different.

Would you consider a good role in a modern Bollywood film?

I would definitely choose to be part of something that brings about a change, that is different from what has been done before, which is also the reason why I chose this serial because it brings something new to the table.

At least when people remember you it will be because you were a pioneer, so I think it’s a wonderful way of retaining love from the audience. Somewhere in their minds you kind of make a place for yourself.

Who are your favourites in the industry today?

I think Kangana Ranaut is moving from strength to strength. She’s performed absolutely brilliantly in all her films. Vidya Balan has carved a different niche for herself by portraying very real characters. Priyanka has reinvented herself with every new film that she has done. Ranbir takes the cake and the cream too (laughs). I think he is terrific.

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