Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai producer Rajan Shahi addresses the controversy over firing actors; Says ‘TV actors are bigger than big movie stars’

Although the producers, who are the taskmasters, are rarely thanked, the actors are usually the ones that feel appreciated. Producer Rajan Shahi has had a totally different career path and is regarded as one of the industry experts who has produced some of the biggest television shows. Interestingly, Rajan is greater in complexity.

MUMBAI: Even in this OTT age, many people still have a special place in their hearts for Indian television, which has changed throughout the years and had its share of glory. The people who work on the medium deserve credit for its progress. Although the producers, who are the taskmasters, are rarely thanked, the actors are usually the ones that feel appreciated. Producer Rajan Shahi has had a totally different career path and is regarded as one of the industry experts who has produced some of the biggest television shows. Interestingly, Rajan is greater in complexity.

Also read: Shocking! Rajan Shahi reveals how Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai actors have troubled him and how the fans only know one side of the story

Being the grandson of actor P Jairaj from the silent era, who received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Shahi has always harbored ambitions to work in entertainment. He began his career as a junior artist, helping artists such as Gulzar, Sanjay Khan, and Ravi Rai. His breakthrough role came in Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahi, starring Rupali Ganguly, who is currently the lead of his TRP-spinner Anupamaa.

Speaking on his journeys, Rajan Shahi said, “Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi was my first daily soap, I worked on it for a year and a half and then went on to do 18 to 19 shows. In 2007, I made my debut as a producer with Sapna Babul Ka: Bidaai. I ventured into films as well but that didn’t do well. My biggest challenge as a maker over the years has been to see what kind of audiences are watching my content. My first show as a producer, Bidaai, was very simple, it came at a time when the emphasis was on over-the-top acting, with importance given to costumes and jewelry. It was a show with two newcomers that suddenly became number one. It went against the tide, with a very basic story around skin color. It changed Star Plus’ fortune at that time.”

He further added, “Even Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai spoke about relationships and marriages at a very different time. But the audience has kept changing, every template for a TV show today is two women and one man or vice versa. We are just repeating our stories with new faces and it is getting very difficult to reinvent in television. I feel everybody is playing very safe.”

Rajan has faced the challenge of becoming a game-changer in an industry that some felt was losing its shine. To highlight narrative more broadly, his most recent program, Anupamaa has set new standards. Rajan Shahi added, “Anupamaa came and became a trendsetter at a time when everyone said TV is over after Covid. Anupamaa has almost completed 4 years. Daily soaps have to run longer because so much is invested in them, but creating a brand out of it gets difficult. People are not connecting to TV shows these days. Anupamaa has become a landmark show, it has international recognition. My shows have always brought a change, Anupamaa deals with issues like child diabetes, panic attacks, etc.”

He also added, “TV actors are bigger than big movie stars, the viewership they have is incredible. Modiji shot a special campaign with Anupamaa for vocal for local. That’s the reach.”

Rajan Shahi got involved in an issue recently after becoming viral with his statement about actors giving him a hard time and revisiting his controversial association with old Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai actors.

“I have had a lot of controversies with actors, but I feel nobody is above the show, not even the producer. This is a creative field, in the industry everything goes through ups and downs with the best of people. I always appreciate my actors. However, there is a wrong perception that a lot of actors claim they shoot for 18 hours. It does happen sometimes, but not always. Some fans and even actors create a very wrong perception of the producers being bullies. My mentor, Mahesh Bhatt told me, ‘Always fall in love with your actors, only then you will see their hard work’, but I have always been very blunt about it.

I am the only producer who goes overboard in appreciating the talent, but if an actor is misbehaving or troubling me, I will not take the nonsense. We have big stakes for a show, but when actors or some newcomers come in and suddenly they get success, which is very short-lived today, they suddenly start taking themselves so seriously. They start believing the world does not exist without them,” he continued.

Rajan went on to discuss the type of actor he likes to collaborate with, saying, “In my career, I have worked with actors who have had that hunger. In Anupamaa, Sudhanshu Pandey had not worked for long, even Rupali had taken a sabbatical, and even Gaurav Khanna, so they had that hunger. With fresh talent, they end up coming late on a shift… there is no place in Director’s Kut Production for such people. Sometimes I take it because I have a next-day telecast, otherwise, I am the one who asks such an actor to very politely leave my set. I have done that with some leads, who were faces of the channel and told the channel after one week. I love my actors, we all work very hard, and they are equally important to me and so is my technical staff. A lot of actors are different in front of the camera and behind it. How they behave and talk with the unit, these things matter to me the most. I have learned from Ektaji (Kapoor) that nobody will hold the show for ransom. A character can be changed in a second, and I have done that.”

He even related an experience that he remembered, “An actress was once troubling me, she shot one day, all wide shots were taken, but the unit was so harassed by her that I said don’t call her anymore. I went to the edit, got the frame zoomed, she was out of the picture, and we continued the story. Few people remembered the character for some days and then forgot her. I have done it many times.”

Rajan's credit for being the creator of Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, the longest-running show on Indian TV, is another feather in his cap. He says, “It is the longest-running show in terms of episode. We have around 4300 episodes, it is one of my biggest records. For me, this will be written in history so it feels nice.”

Also read: Exclusive: Producer Rajan Shahi opens up on the reason why Samar’s death was important in the storyline of Anupamaa!

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Credit- The Indian Express


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Submitted by TellychakkarTeam on Wed, 04/10/2024 - 06:45

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