Looking at his choice of projects, one cannot help but wonder how Rajeev Khandelwal keeps a balance between television and films. After working in Kaushik Ghatak’s Samrat & Co., he moved to do Reporters on television, and then did another film Fever. The actor will now be a host for Zee TV’s weekend show JuzzBaatt… Sangeen Se Namkeen Tak, which will go on air from May 5. Rajeev also keeps moving between fiction and non fiction while choosing his work. “Since the start of my career people keep telling me, ‘Do you plan your career? You choose your projects very smartly. You choose different types of projects.’ But I keep telling people that I don’t know what I will do next. If a project excites me, no matter which genre it is, I will do it. This might look like a pattern but it isn’t. I don’t plan anything,” laughs Rajeev.
He says that till 15 days back, he wasn’t even sure about doing JuzzBaatt...but because he liked the idea, he signed it. “The show happened very quickly,” says the actor who has been on a three-year hiatus from television. “It’s because nothing exciting came my way. I didn’t think I will come back after three years. After this, if I get something exciting, I might sign it, or it might even take another few years to find something I’d like to do. I am open to finite fiction shows but not daily soaps because no one will be able to offer me a story there. They will wait for the show to pick up and then tell the story,” says Rajeev.
Coming to JuzzBaatt..., the show will provide viewers a glimpse into the lives of acclaimed celebrities whom they have grown to love and idolise. It is co-produced by Sandiip Sikcand Telefilms Private Limited and SOL.
He says that the honesty of the show attracted him the most. “When you are doing a talk show or hosting something, most of time it’s all about gimmicks. We gossip about others or create controversy to get the show noticed. This one is all about the heart and the journey of the celebrities. Every person’s journey is quite interesting because each one of us faces ups and downs in life. I liked the concept of just talking. It’s not necessary that you sell your stories with controversies; sometimes simple stories, when told with honesty, can also sell,” he says.
How much research does he need to do to host such a show? “A lot of work goes into it. Since morning, I am sitting with my note pad and thinking. I have to also contribute because this is not a formatted show. For a formatted show, you get notes and details but here I am thinking on my own. I have to understand the other person, the work they have done, their lows in life and various aspects of their life. I have to do my own research even though there is a research team which guides me,” he says, adding, “Experience makes you a better host.”
Rajeev has explored the new medium, the web, with Alt Balaji’s web series Haq Se, which also starred Surveen Chawla. The show received a positive response. Says Rajeev, “It was amazing shooting for the show as we shot it like a film. We shot in Manali for 70 days. The scale and performances were the same but the medium was only different.”
Catch JuzzBaatt… Sangeen Se Namkeen Tak from May 5 every weekend on Zee TV, 7 pm.