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Mishal Raheja – I am not replacing Gautam Rode in Saraswatichandra

The buzz is that you have been approached as a replacement for Gautam Rode in ‘Saraswatichandra’.  Is it true?

Yes. I have been approached for it but I m not replacing Gautam Rode as Saras. I have been asked to come in as a freshly conceived character.

Were you curious to know why they cast you for the show?
No. I don’t think they would reveal that to me and honestly I don’t care. I care about  my work. I find the concept interesting and they want me for it — that’s all that matters.

Have you watched any episodes of ‘Saraswatichandra’? 
My naani watches the show whenever she comes to stay at our house. I like to spend my time with her in the evenings so I watch a couple of shows with her which includes ‘Saraswatichandra’. I have seen 4-5 episodes of the show and I quite like what they did on the show.

What do you think of Jennifer Winget?
She is the lead actress of the show and the country really loves her. So I think it’s a good opportunity to be paired opposite someone who is so popular.

The serial was a Sanjay Leela Bhansali Film productions once. You missed an opportunity to interact with Bhansali.
Yes, I would have loved to meet him … maybe some day in the near future. He is most sound aesthetically and I love the way he presents the music and the art direction. I was very impressed by the art direction in ‘Saraswatichandra.’

You are doing a Nikhil Advani short film, Shaadi Vaadi And All That. When is going to be aired?
I have acted in a Nikhil Advani short film for his production house. It is directed by Kashvi Nair (daughter of director Shashilal Nair), and she is a diminutive dynamo. The short film will be aired on MTV in August some time. I am playing a lawyer who falls in love with an actress who is engaged to an actor. It is essentially a love triangle with a twist. 

I believe that Nikhil Advani has also cast you in another short film.
It’s a short film about Indo-Pak relationships. This is part of six short films being directed by different directors, including Nikhil Advani, for Zee TV. I presume he liked my work in Shaadi Vaadi And All That and decided to cast me in one of the roles.

We have seen you largely in intense roles like that of Dutta Bhau. Do you miss out on doing light hearted/comic/romantic roles?
I miss out on it tooooo much. I am dying to do a fun character.  In fact, my yet-to-be-released film, Budget Trip, has me in an out-and-out fun character but that film is taking long to release. I want the audience to see me in a light-hearted avatar. I am actually dying to do a comedy. I am told my role in ‘Saraswatichandra’ is going to be fun.

Be a sport and tell us about your girlfriend.
I can be a sport and tell you the truth but the world will stop being a sport after knowing the truth. I want them to concentrate on my work and not on my personal life.

When you were shooting for ‘Laagi Tujhse Lagan’ you shifted from your residence in South Mumbai to the suburbs with your dog, Amigo. What are your plans now?
The short films require me to shoot for 10-15 days in a month at the most. But if I take up a show like ‘Saraswatichandra’ which is a daily soap, I will be required to work for 20-25 days in a month. I will move out from my Breach Candy apartment and rent out a pad in Goregaon again like I did during my ‘Laagi …’ days. I don’t like to beat myself down travelling and I treasure my sleep far too much.

Priyanka Raheja, Bollywood News Service

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