'Office Office' actor Manoj Pahwa feels TV was easier medium earlier

Actor Manoj Pahwa, best known for his role as Bhatia in the 2001 comedy series "Office Office", says shooting for television shows was comparatively much easier than today.

Manoj Pahwa
Manoj Pahwa. Pic/Nimesh Dave

Pahwa will be returning to TV after a gap of almost 15 years with his new crime-fiction comedy show "Dafa 420".

"Earlier, we had the concept of weekly TV shows where there were four episodes a month. All the important characters used to shoot for seven-eight days per month and the entire shoot used to wrap up in three months.

"But now the important characters shoot for 25-26 days at a stretch. The process has become very difficult," Pahwa told PTI.

The actor, who recently starred in Zoya Akhtar's multi-starrer "Dil Dhadakne Do", will be seen as a conman who joins hand with law-keepers to help them catch other thugs in bargain for his freedom.

Pahwa says the crime fiction comedy will be a fresh change for the audience who were bored of daily soaps which were behaving as a "manufacturing units".

"Female and children were the target audience. Television kept on churning shows which became repetitive and offered nothing new.

"Anil Kapoor's series '24' proved that you could make a successful show without stretching it unnecessarily. Daily soaps, otherwise, had become like a manufacturing unit."

The actor, who is known to play strong characters in films like "Singh Is Kinng", "Dabangg 2", "Jolly LLB", said the best part about being a character artist is that he remains unfazed with hits or flops.

"A character artist has nothing to do with a hit or a flop film. That is the concern of the star, whose market position depends on the film. But a character artist can work irrespectively keeping the box-office aside."

Pahwa also said that the need of a character artist will always be there no matter how big or small the movie is.

"A character actor is like an onion. No matter what you cook, from chicken to paneer, onion is a must. Of course, a hit film does benefit, but you get work based on your performance, and that should always remain the focus," he said.

Pahwa also said that he feels "extremely happy" about his "Office-Office" co-stars Pankaj Kapoor, Sanjay Mishra and others.

"Sanjay and I go back a long way, we have known each other since Delhi. We struggled together, did 'Office-Office' together. I am very proud of him and the work he is doing.

"Pankaj Kapoor is a senior and I learnt a lot while working with him. It is amazing how we all have chosen line and are doing excellent."

"Dafa 420" also stars Yuvika Chaudhary and Amit Mistry and will air on August 15 on Life Ok.

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