‘Double acts on TV’ is a sure shot to success and rise in TRPs – is what the TV buffs and pundits opine. Having a drop in numbers? Or want to grab more eyeballs to sustain competition? Get the look-alike of your male or female lead and throw in some intrigue in the story line to impress viewers.
Well, this is a phenomenon that has been seen both on the big screen as well as small screen for some time now. Remember the days when the beautiful Sandhya Mridul dabbled elegantly with a double track for her TV show Hubahu? Well, this trend was followed by many actors of the likes of Narayani Shastri (Piya Ka Ghar), Juhi Parmar (Kumkum), Hansika Motwane (Hum 2 Hain Na) and Gaurav Chanana (Hey..Yehi to Hai Woh) in the past.
So what is it that fascinated actors to take up double the stress donning dual roles?
Says the beautiful Adaa Khan who portrayed the double roles of Amrit and Rajjo in her last show Amrit Manthan (Life OK), “It is a challenge for any actor to do a double role and that too when you are playing an important role.”
Adds Adaa, “I got a chance to portray so many characters in one role. And when I got a chance to do this I jumped to it. The best part of the roles being that on one side I was playing a sophisticated princess while on the other hand I was playing a rustic girl who was also abusive when she spoke.”
Other big TV stars recently seen playing a mirror image are Rubina Dilaik in Choti Bahu, Tina Dutta in Uttaran, Avika Gor in Sasural Simar Ka, Aditya Redij in Junoon- Aisi Nafrat To Kaisa Ishq, Mohit Raina in Devon Ke Dev Mahadev and Rati Pandey in Hitler Didi of late.
Leave alone the biggies and grown-ups, even child actors are subjected to the double role syndrome now and then to capture attention... Take the case of young Ulka Gupta who had a double role to play in Zee TV’s Jhansi Ki Rani. And for the matter of fact, Ekta Kapoor’s nation-wide hunt to get her identical twins in Anmol and Apurva Jyotir for the show Parichay (Colors) by moving away from the double role format provided uniqueness for sure.
While it is a usual phenomenon for lead actors to bag double roles, the recently concluded Hitler Didi on Zee TV saw veteran actor Rituraj Singh donning a double role, that of Inder Sharma and Kala Diwan Chandela. Says Rituraj, “Since I was acting as a character role, it wasn’t difficult for me, but I know how much of a struggle it is to attempt a dual role. The first daily show that I did, Bandhan had me playing the hero and the villain simultaneously. We had experimented with it back then, and it is still a popular trend.”
Giaa Maanek who plays the bubbly Jeanie in Jeanie Aur Juju (SAB TV) says, “I have been lucky to play variety of characters in the same role. From a sardaar, to a Chinese to what not, and then this desi girl, it is so much fun. It is difficult to shoot for a daily show, and when you are doing a double role your health tends to take a toll. But then when you enjoy doing it you do not want to complain.”
Echoing her thoughts, Adaa too adds, “I knew that with Amrit Manthan slated to go off air soon, this was my last chance to do something different on the show. The show is very special to me and I am glad people actually enjoyed watching the double act. The feedback from friends and fans has been very positive.”
It is definitely a treat to see your favourite actor do a double whammy, but many feel that it will only work if the story demands it. Giaa aptly says, “Who ever be the actor, if the script isn’t going anywhere, any number of roles won’t help. People will actually feel irritated with useless double sketched characters.”
Talking about his dual role and creative satisfaction he has been getting essaying Biji and Eiji Pandey in Lapataganj Season 2 (SAB TV), Abbas Khan avers, “It is not everyday a male actor gets to play such characters on TV. Men are usually left as bystanders in shows, so it’s always a satisfying feeling to be not just doing one but two strong roles. I really enjoy playing both and I hope it will continue the same way for long.”
Let us keep aside the very thought of double roles being taxing on actors, and simply weigh the entertainment quotient that shows bring with the ‘famous’ double role concepts… All we can say is that this ‘trend of double acts will live on’ as far as television lives.
More the double roles, more the entertainment!!!