'Our audience hasn’t evolved’

Debarati Palit
Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Tenali Rama is a story of the legendary poet Tenali in Krishnadevraya’s court who uses creative methods to solve the trickiest of problems. Krishadevraya as a king believes in justice.

Actor Manav Gohil is making a comeback on Sab TV with the forthcoming comedy drama series Tenali Rama. The actor will be seen essaying the role of Krishnadevraya, the King of Vijaynagar Empire. The show is starting on July 11.

Tenali Rama is a story of the legendary poet Tenali in Krishnadevraya’s court who uses creative methods to solve the trickiest of problems. Krishadevraya as a king believes in justice.

“I liked the concept of the show and the content. When I was told about the show, it sounded very promising,” says Manav who is currently shooting for the show.

This is his second show with Sab TV (the first being Yam Hai Hum) and Manav says that it’s his good relations with the channel that prompted him to come back. “Generally when we are offered a show, I ask the name of the show and producers. But when the channel came to me with the idea, they explained the concept beautifully. I had also worked in their previous show and had a good time so there was no issue,” he says.

Ask him if he has read the stories of Tenali Rama in comic books and he says, “Not Really. I remember reading his stories in school. That’s all.”
While playing the role of the king, did he study any particular character to get the nuances? “I didn’t need to follow any character and our director was also clear about that. If I would have studied anyone then I would have ended up being like them. I wanted to get my own style to the character. The nuances come from the script, and my chemistry with my co-stars. So nothing was planned and I was going with the flow,” he says.

For the past few years, Manav has been doing mostly cameos. “That’s because I have been doing drama for 10 years now. I don’t relate to some of the drama concepts on television. I can’t convince myself to be part of a show like Naagin because I can’t play the character of a Nag Devta,” he says, adding, “The reason I am doing comedy lately is because I haven’t done comedy before. It’s a new genre for me. In Yam Hai Hum, I had the principal character even though I do not believe in god or Yam but because it was a comedy, I did it.” He says that he wants to do a show which he believes in. “It should be worth the time. I am doing ads, TV and theatre so there’s no dearth of work.”

Manav says that it becomes frustrating as an actor when you are offered shows you cannot relate to. “If we do not give them a realistic touch and keep dragging them unnecessarily, then the audience cannot connect with it. Also, as an actor it becomes difficult to perform,” he says. He adds that those actors who have worked in these shows have evolved but somehow our audience hasn’t evolved much. “I am not judging these shows because they are the ones which work,” he says.

These shows have continued because the makers do not want to experiment? Manav replies, “Some have experimented and once they have failed, others do not want to follow their path.”

Apart from television, Manav is also hosting a Gujarati radio show which he says is an experiment and quite challenging for him.

The actor and his actress wife Shweta Kawatra were last seen together in Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki. But Shweta took a break from acting after their daughter was born in 2011. Will we see the two coming together on screen anytime soon? “I would love to work with her and so would she but right now it’s not possible because our daughter is too young. Shweta is a hands-on and dedicated mother, she likes to be there for our daughter. That’s why she doesn’t want to sign any show.”

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