Sunday 01 March 2015


Woman on top - Smriti Irani

Smriti Z Irani captured a million hearts and instantly shot to fame with her character Tulsi Virani in Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhii Bahu Thi. She became an iconic daughter-in-law to all the mothers-in-law of the world. But after having played Tulsi for seven years Smriti shocked the nation with her decision to quit the serial that changed television history. The actress ventured into the field of production and her serials Virrudh and Mere Apne soon had viewers engrossed. She is now doing her first cameo in Teen Bahuraniyaan.

For Smriti who came to Mumbai from Delhi there is no looking back.

We chatted up with Smriti to find out what the view from the top is likeÖ..

Teen Bahuraniyaan is the first show outside your production house that you are doing after quitting Kyunkii... What made you choose this role?
I had an interaction with the channel and the production house and I quite liked what they had to offer me in terms of my role and the script. I also wanted to break this myth that I donít work for other production houses. I have done a plethora of roles, be it comedy or mythological role in Ramayan, from KyunkiiÖ to Mere Apne. It only interests me if I get to do different roles and experimental work. So I wanted to break this myth with Teen Bahuraniyaan. Itís basically a good exercise as an actor to step out and work in an environment which is alien and new.

How is your character going to progress?
For that I think you should find out from Zee and the production house.

How many episodes will you be doing?
Again, I think I am not the right person to answer this question. Itís better left to the production house and the channel to answer.

As far as the showís TRP is concerned, itís not doing very good with 2.5. So is your entry meant to garner more TRPs.?
See as far as I know Zee is ruling the TRP chart and I canít comment on my entry to garner more TRPs. I just would like to say that I took this offer to break the myth and to do something different from what I have already done. I am in that position of my career where TRPs doesnít actually matter.

How different is it to work as an actor for other production houses rather than doing it for your own serial?
Being a producer you are always at an actorís mercy, so I would say working as an actor for other production house is a welcome change.

So are you open to more such cameo roles?
I would love to take on such offers but that entirely depends on the role I am offered, the project and the channel.

Your new show Mere Apne has also been well- received by audiences. How is your production house shaping up?
It feels very nice when people like your work. I always try to do different kind of work. As far as the progress of my production house is concerned there are five shows in the pipeline. I am doing a serial for Zee and some shows for Sahara but I make it a point to speak about them only when the time is right. I talk about my shows only when they are coming up and never before that.

Any film offers?
I was offered a cameo in a film from somebody very respected and they were very keen on me working with them. But I want to produce a film which has my own story.

Your look is almost the same in all your serials. You are doing different work then why not different looks?
Recently I read this interesting comment on why I am wearing an ulta pallu ki sari. Now if you go to U.P and other northern villages then you would see women wearing saris in the same way especially women coming from a traditional background. So, I was quite amused when this question was asked. But in Virrudh I am playing a cosmopolitan girl and I am wearing a salwar-kameez.

You are called the most influential actor on television. Comment
Is it? I am not somebody who comes from a film background. Neither am I from a rich and influential family. However, TV has given me an opportunity to reach this far that too in such a short span. I kind of feel very honoured to reach the position that I have. But I donít take it for granted. I am always keen on ensuring that I keep working and do not get stuck in one place. I can easily say that ok fine I am the reigning actress. But I opted for production and took it as a challenge. Thanks to the channels and Virrudh which is getting acknowledged not only by viewers but also by critics and the industry. I am getting awards and now my other serial Mere Apne is also doing very well. I have given two-three different kind of serials in the past one and a half year of being a producer. From Thodi Si Zameen.. to Virrudh to Mere Apne none of my work has been repetitive. There is not much of rona-dhona in my serials.

Who do you credit your success to?
Zubin and nobody else. Itís very difficult after 24 hours of day work, to work on five things at one time. Apart from my career in television, I have a career in politics and itís very difficult to juggle everything. I am lucky to have managed that especially because I have a family that supports me. Now in my production team I have a bunch of youngsters who take on the responsibility and ensure that I am not burdened too much.

How do you handle the combined pressure of production and acting?
I think I have been very lucky that channels have been very understanding, supportive. They have been very considering and interactive which is very helpful in creating a healthy environment. Normally the production and channels are at loggerheads in the industry. But Sony and 9X came as a blessing to me and now I am working with other channels too. For me a channel and a production house is on the same plane and we both work together to ensure that we give quality serials.

How is your political career progressing?
I am the vice-president of the youth wing of BJP, Maharashtra. Itís my third term as national executive and six months back I was promoted as secretary of Maharashtra BJP unit. My career in politics has also seen a steady climb. I am quite grateful and excited that both the fields have seen equal amount of promotion, climb and success.

Posted on 11 Dec 2007 3:30 pm
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