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'Jamai Raja' actress Isha Sharmaa: There is no competition in television

In a candid chat with mid-day, TV actress Isha Sharmaa, who plays Kritika in 'Jamai Raja', talks about TRPs, competition in television, her Bollywood dreams and much more...

Isha Sharmaa
Isha Sharmaa

Q: Who is your favourite co-star in ‘Jamai Raja’?
A: ‘Jamai Raja’ co-stars treat me like a kid because I’m one of the youngest on the sets. And it’s my first show, so they have always been supportive and encouraging. People who I am working with are veterans in the industry. Achint, Shruti, nobody is a contemporary. Everyone is a senior to me. But I’m close to Shruti ma’am, Achint and Ravi. There are no clashes on the sets. We are all friends. That’s the best part. And I’ve learnt a lot from them, professionally and personally.

Isha Sharmaa with Ravi Dubey and the team of 'Jamai Raja'
Isha Sharmaa with Ravi Dubey and the team of 'Jamai Raja'

Q: Talking about contemporaries, which actress do you consider as your competition?
A: There is no competition in television. There is so much work in television. There are so many opportunities. There is so much happening in television today. Nobody would consider anyone as each other’s competition because there is so much work. There is so much space that you won’t really bother. You can compete with other shows on other channels that are being aired at the same time as your show. It’s more of a competition between shows rather than individuals.

Q: Do you feel the pressure of maintaining the TRPs?
A: Yes, 100%! You feel it every week. You have to deliver every Thursday. And if your twist doesn’t work, if your screenplay doesn’t work, you do feel the pressure. The first 6 months to 1 year is the deciding factor to establish if the show is going to work or not. So once the show has cleared this litmus test, you can take it forward. But if the TRPs don’t recover, you obviously start to worry. There is pressure. I think if anyone has done TV, they can work anywhere in the world. TV is like shooting in a war zone!

Q: Besides ‘Jamai Raja’, which other TV shows do you like to watch?
A: I like ‘Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain!’. It’s an amazing show! It’s a light-hearted naughty comedy. I watch English televisions shows more than Hindi. Hindi TV shows go to some other level six weeks down the line, instead of sticking to what they started with. If they stick to what they started with, we’ll have amazing TV shows. I don’t watch many Hindi TV shows because they change the storyline and lose focus.

Q: Are you harbouring any Bollywood dreams?
A: Who doesn’t? I think TV gave a second medium to all those who had a dream of working in Bollywood. The television industry has flourished so much that so many actors have realised their dreams. For some, the transition works. Like Sushant Singh Rajput. Even Shah Rukh Khan started from TV. Now, people are seriously considering TV actors. Now the transition from TV to Bollywood is much easier than what it was 10 years back. Now, Bollywood industry is more open. They are promoting their films on TV shows. So I came at the right time.

Q: Would you be comfortable doing bold scenes if the script demands it?
A: I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable doing bold scenes. I’m not trying to be all ‘sati savitri’. Nobody is. You got to see what works for you. A movie can be done without it. You don’t have to show it for the heck of it.

Q: What is your dream role?
A: I never thought my character in ‘Jamai Raja’, Kritika, would be this amazing! I didn’t even audition for it. I never thought I’d get to learn so much from playing this character - Brat, negative, turning into positive, getting married twice on the show, little bit of comedy and lot more. Kritika was a dream role I never thought I’d get. Very few actors get to do so much in their first show. Kritika is a dream role anyone would love to do.

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