Shubhangi Atre made her TV debut with 'Kasautii Zindagi Kay' where she played Palchin, but it was her role in Kasturi that made her a household name. The actress has now replaced Shilpa Shinde in 'Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hain!' and admits that it is a big responsibility. Excerpts from an interview with her:
Was it tough for you to get into the skin of the character after the entire controversy?
It's not the first time that a character on a popular show has been replaced. Controversies are part and parcel of the industry and I am not paying much attention to it. It was a big opportunity for me as both the character and the show are popular. I am not scared to portray the role and hope the audience connects to it just like they did before. It is a huge responsibility for me.
Shilpa had accused the producer of not providing proper working conditions. How has your experience been so far?
It's been six days since I began shooting. According to me an actor needs to go on the set and act. In Maharashtra, 70 per cent of the shows are shot in Naigaon and basic difficulties keep arising, but I cannot blame the production team because I understand that it is difficult to arrange for everything everyday. Personally I haven't faced any problems so far. I have a separate make up room, a designer to take care of my costumes and spot boys too are very prompt.
We hear that your contract is a lot stricter as compared to Shilpa's as makers didn't want to take any chances this time around.
I signed the contract after reading it a couple of times. We sign contracts mutually and no one can force anything on you. Usually the contracts are valid for a year after which you can put your conditions forward. There is always room for negotiations. One should be transparent in the whole process and communicate well.
You had replaced Shilpa in Chidiya Ghar earlier. How do you look at that?
I never thought of it as replacement then and don't think of it as one now. It's just a co-incidence. I just consider this as another opportunity to improve myself. I auditioned for some other show for the same production house; they liked it and thought I would fit Angoori Bhabi's part and offered me the role.
Shilpa said a number of things against you and the future of the show.
I wouldn't want to comment on it, but I will say that just like many others who come to the city to make a name for themselves, I too have come here to work.
The controversy has taken a political and regional turn. Are you ready to face trouble if it arises?
My job is to act and I would like to concentrate on only that. The channel has a strong legal team and people are mature enough. I am sure that they will deal with any situation very well.