Actor Himanshu Malhotra talks about the experience of being part of the TV industry, the kind of shows he wants to take up and the way the industry works.
What is your viewpoint on daily soaps vs finite series?
I always prefer finite series because there’s always a story line. There is a bound script and you also know the way your character is moving. They also have a broad story line which helps us to create something better. Of course, then it becomes a qualitative medium instead of quantitative where you’re churning out scenes every day because you know that there is a fixed set of episodes. Like when I worked with Yashraj in 2009, they only shot 26 episodes in 200 days and it was one of the most beautiful experiences. So finite series are always better.
You have done daily soaps. What is your viewpoint on the current scenario?
People have stopped paying attention to the story, people have stopped paying attention to the way it’s going to be created because I think everyone is churning out as many episodes as they can.
Daily soaps have deadlines and telecast issues always. Actors are often losing patience because of this. What is your viewpoint?
That’s actually true because daily soaps are predominantly again a quantitative medium. So, what happens is that you have to constantly work more than 12 hours at times, or even 15 hours a day. Plus, if the set is at Naigaon, it takes another two – three hours to reach. It becomes taxing for an artist and that’s one of the reasons that artists also feel irritated and frustrated. This, unfortunately, results in them throwing tantrums and creating issues for the production house as well as with the channel. I think probably if they can manage things better and give one Sunday off, I think everyone will become a bit relaxed. It’s just the kind of balance that we need to let in to make sure that everyone has a great place to work every day.
Many TV soaps sets are located far off from Mumbai and Travelling takes a toll. Comment.
I avoid taking up shows at Naigaon. It does take a lot of time and toll on your health because you’re traveling almost one and a half hour one way and sometimes you really get stuck. I definitely try and prefer to take up shows that are shot close to Madh or FilmCity.
If not an actor what you would have been and why?
I think probably an educationist or maybe a sportsman. Sportsman, because I was a sportsman for 12 years. I was professional cricketer before turning an actor and I love the game so much. Educationist, because I think because of my initiative Share and Grow, I have realised that when you start teaching, you also get to learn each day.
Daily soap actors don’t get enough time for personal life. What is your viewpoint?
It’s sad unfortunately, so that’s also another reason that people would want to quit after a point of time. If you don’t get time for your personal life, then you do get frustrated and irritated. I think you should get some time to spend with your family. Monday to Saturday you work and on Sundays you must get an off. And then, you can get back to work on Monday.
How do you unwind at the end of the day?
For me, I think my books help me a lot, writing helps me a lot, even watching films. If I get to meet someone who is interesting and with whom I can learn, I think it’s great and my evening is made.
Actors complain of daily soaps leaving no time for personal life. But at the same time when you shoot for a daily soap and long hours you are paid equally at the same time. Express your views
You will always be paid high…again this also depends on what kind of a pay scale are you in and how much popularity you hold. It depends on how much brand value do you have, how many followers you have or how much fan following you have.