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TV actors get slapped, spat on to make their acting look realistic

When television show makers don’t rely on simulation or animation and insist that actors get ‘real’ for intense scenes 

Acting is not nearly as glamorous as it may seem — even well established faces have to go through a lot to make their characters and tracks believable. And that, sometimes, includes giving up on their self respect and doing stuff that make them cringe or want to throw up.

Sahil Mehta had to dive into a dirty lake for his show
Sahil Mehta had to dive into a dirty lake for his show

Ask Akshay Dogra, who plays the negative character of Jagan on TV show Waaris and was recently spat upon by co-actor Lavina Tandon on the face for an intense sequence — not once, not twice but thrice. That particular scene follows when Lavina catches Akshay cheating on her with another woman. What’s more, the actor had just wiped his face clean when the director asked a retake. Says Akshay, "As actors, we want to do a good job. When you fake it, it is evident on screen. Lavina was a little hesitant about spitting on my face, but when she actually did it, my real expressions were brought out. I was angry and shocked — we did the scene 3-4 times."

Jasmin Bhasin
Jasmin Bhasin; (below) Tejaswi Prakash Wayanganka

A few days ago too, he was at the receiving end when his other co-actor Aarti Singh bit his hand. "It was a scene where I had to grip Aarti as she struggles to break free. She is not the kind to hold back, and ended up biting my hand really hard. I feel I am being attacked by all the women on my set," the actor says, bursting into laughter.

Jasmin Bhasin; (below left) Tejaswi Prakash Wayanganka and (below right) Aanchal Khurana recount being slapped multiple times on reel

One tight slap
Most Indian saas-bahu sagas have a lot of bickering, name-calling, blame games and of course, slap scenes. There have been many shows wherein actors slap someone as per the script, but have to shoot it for real — apparently, not everything you see on television is fake. Jasmin Bhasin says she has lost count of the number of times she has been slapped on Tashan-e-Ishq.

Aanchal Khurana recount being slapped multiple times on reel
Aanchal Khurana recount being slapped multiple times on reel

"We once did a scene where Leela (one of the characters) slaps me. The entire scene was shot on the trolley in a way that the slap couldn’t be cheated.

I remember I actually got slapped five times by the character to bring out the right feel. No one has ever slapped me in real life. I mean, I would never take it," she adds, shrugging.

Tejaswi Prakash Wayangankar aka Ragini of Swaragini fame claims that slapping people is the USP of the show. She elaborates, "Just a few days ago, I slapped someone and Helly Shah (co-actor) had to slap someone yesterday. So, it has become routine for us to slap each other in every second scene. I remember getting slapped by my on-screen grandmother some time ago; she must have slapped me about eight to nine times and since my cheeks didn’t seem red enough, I even slapped myself to get the right look."

Akshay Dogra was spat upon by  co-actor Lavina Tandon, not once, not twice, but thrice during shoot
Akshay Dogra was spat upon by co-actor Lavina Tandon, not once, not twice, but thrice during shoot

Aanchal Khurana, who was last seen in Meri Saasu Maa, feels doing things out of the ordinary is "a lot of fun". "Since I played a negative character, I was dragged around, slapped, humiliated and what not, before they put me behind bars in one of the scenes. Negative leads almost always have to endure such things, but then you learn to roll with it because that’s the character you signed up for. I have been slapped countless times," she chuckles.

Down and dirty
Sahil Mehta, the lead actor of Suhani Si Ek Ladki, explains that, as an actor, one has to make sacrifices. "I remember a scene where I had to dive into a lake which was filthy to the core. I could see human faeces floating in it and cows taking a dump a few metres away. It was disgusting and puke-inducing, but I had to get into the water," he says.

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