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Exclusive! Sarkaar with Jiiva: The show gave me an opportunity to reconnect with my film fraternity, says Jiiva

The Coffee With Kadhal actor has taken the plunge into OTT with the game show, Sarkaar with Jiiva, which is streaming on Aha Tamil

Exclusive! Sarkaar with Jiiva: The show gave me an opportunity to reconnect with my film fraternity, says Jiiva

Jiiva in Aha Tamil's game show, Sarkaar With Jiiva

  • P Sangeetha

Last Updated: 03.32 PM, Sep 20, 2022

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It looks like Jiiva is thoroughly enjoying his new avatar as a game show host. The Coffee With Kadhal actor has taken the plunge into OTT with the game show titled Sarkaar with Jiiva, where four celebrity guests will be appearing on each episode and taking part in the game. The show began streaming on September 16 on Aha Tamil, and will stream for 13 weeks and will have 52 guests taking part in it. The actor talks about his new endeavour in a chat with OTTplay..

What made you take the leap into OTT?

Well...You get to meet people from the industry and it's a great opportunity to reconnect with friends, directors and producers. You are engaged every week because there is some activity happening around. Moreover, Aha is catering to 180 countries. So, the show not only reaches a larger audience worldwide, but also helps with the business.

What was going on in your mind when the makers approached you with the idea?

They first told me that the show will have celebrities as guests. I thought I could have a lot of fanboy moments. If I meet one of my favourite actors and get an opportunity to play games with them, it would be pretty exciting. After the pandemic, though all of us are doing a lot of films, there is no personal connection, really. We just go to the set, shoot and get back home. This was an ideal opportunity to reconnect.

Did you watch the Telugu version of the game before you gave the nod?

I watched the trailer and the show in bits and pieces. The format in Tamil is an improvised version and the questions are pretty good. I think the contestants will have fun answering them. They will have to brainstorm a little though. I, too, learnt a lot of new things. This is the kind of show that all of us would enjoy.

Was it easier slipping into the shoes of a host?

Since, I don't have to get into a particular character like in a film, all the more easier, no. I can just be myself. 

You had stated earlier that the audience can witness the fun side of Jiiva, the person in the show...  

I am a fun-loving person and my real-life persona sort of rubbed off on my character in the film, Siva Manasula Sakthi (2009). In the last ten years, the audience hasn't really seen me in that kind of character again because I dived into some serious roles. So, people have been asking me when am I going to do a film like Siva Manasula Sakthi. I can't do the same film again, but I thought I could definitely have some fun on the set.  In the show, I just have to entertain and it is no rocket science. It is nice to see a personal side of mine onscreen. 

The first episode had the fun bunch, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Premgi, Venkat Prabhu and Vaibhav...

Yes, it was a lot of fun. They created a nice platform for us. The way they answered the questions itself was thoroughly enjoyable.

Do you think that the game show could catapult you to a different league, just like it did for Amitabh Bachchan (Kaun Banega Crorepati) and Kamal Haasan (Bigg Boss Tamil) and make you a household name?

I am in a different league already (laughs). Normally, people who have been anchors, go on to become actors. In my case, I have been an actor for 20 years. I wanted to open up and try my hand at being an anchor. Also, I would like to call myself a host rather than an anchor. What's interesting is that this is not like a reality show where you have to cry and deal with drama. It's a game show and a sporty event. I did a reality show called Jodi Number One around a decade ago. It worked for my films because I was riding on the popularity of the show. I thought I should take this one, too, seriously. 

Do you watch a lot of game shows?

I used to watch American television host Steve Harvey's shows and Amitabh Bachchan sir's Kaun Banega Crorepati.

A poster of Sarkaar With Jiiva
A poster of Sarkaar With Jiiva

How different was the experience when compared to films?

Being a host is a very tiring job as you have to be constantly on your toes and be spontaneous. There is no double take here. A single show takes up almost five to six hours from start to finish, with just a couple of breaks in between. And by the time you wrap up the episode, you are completely exhausted. 

Your film with director Sundar C, Coffee with Kadhal, too, is lined up for release...

The film has come out really well. It's hitting screens on October 7 and we are gearing up for the promotions. We are all quite excited about it. It's a romantic comedy and I play an IT professional, who has come back home to his family in Ooty. It's a nice feel-good family-oriented drama.

Other films in the pipeline...

I am doing a Hindi film, which is loosely based on cricket. Since I have already worked on 83, I think it would be easier for people to recognise me. It's for Aanand L Rai's production house. This apart, I have many back-to-back releases in Tamil. I have completed a film under the home production banner, Super Good Films titled Varalaru Mukkiyam, another film titled Golmaal, and a film each under SR Prabhu and Ishari Ganesh's production houses. 

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