Sunday, 18 August 2013

It’s a tough fight against the original

Avinash Sachdev, who won many hearts as the sweet and simple Dev from Chhoti Bahu, is now making a comeback as the bad boy Shlok in the sequel to Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon. The return, however, hasn’t received a warm welcome exactly, with fans of the original show hurling severe criticism at him.
Avinash is well aware of the negative reactions. He says, “When Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon was on air, I was busy with Chhoti Bahu. So I didn’t have the time to watch the show but I was always aware of its popularity. The other day I checked the fan reactions to our promo and there were 80,000 views and around 2,000 dislikes. It did take me by surprise at first even though I knew that fans are extremely attached to the original cast. But all I can say is that my role is different from what I have heard Barun Sobti played in the original.”

While fans are demanding that the show title be changed, Avinash says that the show was destined to be called Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon Ek Baar Phir and feels that the title suits perfectly. He says, “When I started shooting for the show in January, it was called something else. Then in April we were given the same set that was used for the original. As the story went forward, the team and channel realised that this show would be a perfect sequel to the original.”

Speaking about his character Shlok Agnihotri, Avinash says that this is the kind of role that he dreamt of playing since the time he entered the industry. “My previous roles have given me this good boy image but I always wanted to play the bad guy. Shlok is rude, dominating and a male chauvinist. So he is both the hero and villain of the show.” But playing bad hasn’t come easy to the actor. “Either my jaw begins to hurt hurting or I end up with a headache as I have to hold Shlok’s bad boy expressions for hours together,” Avinash says.

Barun quit the show to pursue a career in Bollywood leading to the show going off air. Avinash, however, insists that he would never go back on his commitment. “Tomorrow, if I am offered a film I won’t leave my shows midway. I respect my work and profession enough to not do such a thing.” While Avinash says that he tries to live his roles in real life, there are times when he needs a break to get away from it all. “When I am not shooting, I am mostly in my make-up room. But when I need a break I manage to hide myself in such a way that even the assistant directors cannot find me,” he says with a laugh. Avinash continues, “If I manage to get a longer break, I like driving to Lonavala with my friends and when they are busy, I don’t mind travelling alone.”

Avinash, who continues to be on the receiving end of brickbats, says that he has always been immune to negativity. He says, “I can neither take stress not can I fight with anyone. People who know me are aware that whenever there is a fight or a negative situation, I just prefer to back off from the situation. I totally believe in a live-and-let-live policy.”

The actor has completed eight years in the industry and says that the journey has been a fruitful one. “When I came to Mumbai eight years ago, I never expected to be this successful. For shows I have been to South Africa six times, West Indies three times and so many other countries. The affection that people have showered on me is amazing. I never expected people in West Indies to watch Hindi television shows.”
The actor has been dating his Chhoti Bahu co-star Rubina Dilaik for a long time now but he says that there are no immediate plans of joining hands for one more show anytime soon. Both the actors have been open about their relationship in the past, so it was surprising to see Avinash not too keen to talk about it now. When probed about his marriage plans, he said, “I would rather not discuss my personal life.” So be it then!


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