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Exclusive - Apara Mehta: I saw Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi for the first time during the lockdown

Apara Mehta is currently seen in the Gujarati web series Kshadyantra.

Jun 27, 2021
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Apara Mehta in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.

Apara Mehta, best remembered for playing mother-in-law (saas) in one of India’s longest-running Television show, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, has made her web series debut. She is seen in ShemarooMe’s Gujarati series called Kshadyantra, which revolves around family politics.

The actress got candid in an exclusive chat with OTTplay and opened up about her role, time during lockdown and much more. She also revealed that it was only during the last lockdown that she actually got to watch the show which made her a star overnight.

Excerpts from the interview:

What prompted you to take up Kshadyantra?

This is my first Gujarati show. I have done everything for my mother tongue as far as theatre is concerned but I had not touched anything like a Gujarati show or film. I need a role that is award-winning or classic. When I was offered Kshadyantra, I said yes after hearing just one line. It was a short-term commitment and the role felt just right. The cast also has all good actors.

What is your character in Kshadyantra like?

She is a Chief Minister who has layers to her. All she cares about is hanging on to the post. Being on top is lonely, so you want to hang on to that spot. She has really worked for the population of her state too. It is not the biggest role, but is very important. You will get to see Indian politics over the years through the character. She is more advanced in her thinking of how to run the state. She’s a very smart woman. It made me feel good. I’m politically aware too, so I could fill in the colours.

Is there any way you could relate to your character?

It’s a very sophisticated and savvy character, so that way, I do relate to her.

How different is working on a web series from working on TV?

It’s much easier. Technically, I’ve learnt so much around the years that I take a glance and know how professional a person is. The last lockdown was the first time I saw Kyunki. We never saw it because we were working back then. For me, it is ‘been there, done that’.

I also wanted to record an audiobook and finally was able to do it.

There was a series called Sambhlo Chho which was released recently, which was about actors narrating stories and expressing only with their expressions and body language. Would you take up such a show?

Eyes closed. There’s too much in me. I cannot be boxed in as an actor.

I have always followed Saraswati and not Laxmi. People have a wrong notion about me that I have made crores working. I have to explain to them that people who are famous, do not earn as much in money but respect and relations with people. After all these years, I have come to a stage where I can ask people how much they can pay me. That has put me in a much more comfortable situation too. I can wait as well as do run-off-the-mill shows.

Is there any reason we haven’t seen you in many films?

I need a good role. When Sanjay Leela Bhansali approached me for Devdas, my face fell and I just couldn’t refuse.

I was invited by the Prime Minister for dinner. It was a quiet dinner with Atal ji. He had invited me on May 11, 2004. My whole journey is thanks to Kyunki.

Do we get to see you in more web series?

I wish to, definitely. I don’t mind even naughty, but not dirty. Please recommend my name no?

What do you think about the trend Television shows turning into web series?

There are good actors in them. Only good looks won’t work these days. The story should be fast-moving and actors who know their work.

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