VISHAL VASHISHTHA, who plays Bittoo in Sony’s Jaat Ki Jugni, talks to SANGEETA YADAV about his character, the message it wants to convey and his journey so far
- Your character, Bittoo, looks familiar…
People are telling me I have done something like this before in Ek Veer Ki Ardaas… But that character was a little immature. Most of the Jats and rural boys shown on TV are not ambitious. But Bittoo is different. He loves fairy tales, he’s a romantic by heart.
- Is there a message in the story?
The intention is to tell people to let the youngsters live their life. Let them take their decisions about their career, profession, life partner etc. As the story unfolds, the message will come out beautifully.
- Is it true that the show is a TV adaptation of 90s Anari movie?
No, it is not an adaptation of the movie. The characters are poles apart. The storyline is also different.
- How was it to shoot in Punjab?
The outdoor shoot was fun. We were shooting in Sangrur and Patiala. We got to meet local people there who were excited to see the shooting. We did on the spot promotion of the show as well.
- What made you say yes to Jaat Ki Jugni?
This is my second show with Rashmi Sharma. Earlier, I had to turn down the offer due to my commitment with Gangaa on &TV. But when Jaat Ki Jugni came up, I was keen to work with her again and the entire team who has been backing this project for almost a year now. I fell in love with the character and the script.
- The reason for quittingGangaa…
The script was not going well. My character, Sagar, became depressing and I had tried all tricks to make it work but I was exhausted emotionally. After struggling for eight to 10 months, I bid adieu. In order to unlearn whatever I had and start afresh, I decided to go for a couple of theatre workshops with Adishakti in Auroville.
- Was it difficult to get into the industry?
I have been lucky in getting breaks. My debut as a lead happened randomly. I had auditioned in Kolkata and bagged my first lead role in Channel V’s Crazy Stupid Ishq.
- Is Bittoo the kind of person who may get caught by the Anti-Romeo Squad?
The purpose is to catch hold of eve-teasers. The reason could be disrespect to women. Bittoo’s character is not like that. He believes in love stories. If he sees a boy disrespecting a girl, he will go to any lengths to stop it.
- Does nepotism exist in TV as well?
I have not faced it yet. But nepotism does exist after attaining a certain level of success. As compared to films, it is less on TV.
- Do you think it’s correct to take fights on social media?
I am no social media fan. I get criticised by my fans for not being active on it. Sometimes I do have an opinion but don’t want to be involved in social media fights. I believe in doing my work. I try to be social offline.
- Any Bollywood plans?
Bollywood is the ultimate goal but I want to be grand, not in terms of money or projects that I am doing but with the kind of work I do. I want to do quality work not just in Bollywood, but on TV and web-series so that I become a versatile actor.
(The article also got published in Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/show-time/want-to-be-a-versatile-actor.html).