The talented actor talks about his popularity since Balika Vadhu, his new show Itna Karo Na Mujhe Pyaar, his love life and more
Ever since we saw the child prodigy, Avinash Mukherjee in Balika Vadhu we’ve been amazed at his talent. Of course the child artist has now grown to be better looking, better actor and definitely a lot more interesting. BollywoodLife caught up with Avinash to learn more about the onscreen bad boy, his quirks, his obsession and more. Read excerpts from the interview...
What have you been doing post Balika Vadhu?
I was a part of a show called Sanskaar Darohar Apnon Ki, which aired on Colors. Now I am doing Itna Karo Na Mujhe Pyaar and loving every moment of it. I was waiting for the right kind of role. Wanted to do something that I've not done before and my character in this show is exactly what I was looking for.
Do you think your popularity dipped after BV and was it a struggle to get back on the top?
It's been three and half years since BV but people still recognise me as Jagya, which I think is a blessing. So my popularity hasn’t dipped, moreover because now people recognise me as Ranbir from Itna Karo Na Mujhe Pyaar. So that proves people love my character and the show.
What according to you is Ranbir's character in Itna Karo Na Mujhe Pyaar?
It's neither negative nor grey shaded. I was grey shaded in my previous show. My character in IKNMP is positive. Externally I come across as a tough and strict guy. My outer shell is like my dad (Neil K), but inside I am a nineteen year old soft guy who does not want anyone to see this side of me. Ranbir has his mother's heart but he behaves like his dad. It is a very good role for an actor to portray.
So how similar or different are you from Ranbir?
Well we are not that similar. He is very short tempered and arrogant in life and I am not like that. We both have a very strong nature and are not influenced easily.
You are looking very different in the show. How have people reacted to your new look?
People have liked my new look. Everyone tells me, 'Haaye kitna bada ho gaya hai’. People tell me I look good now; I’ve worked on my physique and lost about 16 kgs. I follow a strict diet no matter what.
Ekta is known to be stickler for details. How was your interaction with the Czarina?
Trust me when I say she is the most detailed person I have ever seen. She does about 8-9 shows at a time, in spite of that she will know everyone's dialogues in any particular scene. When we went for a narration, she even remembered the dialogues of a nurse who had just a two minute role in the first episode. She knows every actor’s character sketch byheart - their nature, stance, their present, past and future. I am very inspired by her.
So did you get to learn something from Ronit Roy too?
Ronitda works like a newcomer who wants to prove himself. He is that passionate. For example, if he wants to do a scene where he is removing clothes from the wardrobe, there will be precision even to that. I get to learn something from him every day. As for Pallavi, I haven’t worked much with her as yet. I have just done a scene or two. But she is also very sweet. Basically the entire cast is like a big family now.
So do the dipping TRPs and the constant comparison to Bade Acche Lagte Hai bother you?
Personally I believe in doing work, it's not a movie where you earn Rs 100 crore and it is gone. It's a show and I don't judge it by the TRP, in fact, I give more priority to people's reaction. People have come up to me and told me that they love the show and watch it with their entire family, so that's good to hear and I think it is a very good sign. I believe it is the word of mouth that works for television shows than publicity - again that's just my opinion.
Are you still in touch with any of cast members of Balika Vadhu?
Yes, I have been in touch with Satyajeet Sharma who played Vasant. He is a theatre artist and I like watching plays. Recently I also attended Avika Gor's premiere of a south movie. I was recently invited to the party when BV completed 1500 episodes.
Viewers take the characters in daily soaps very personally. Do you believe that playing a negative character like this somehow could tarnish your image?
Well I don't know about before, but my character right now is conflicted. Am not all bad, even if I am mean to my mother it is because of that pent up anger in me waiting to come out. I somewhere love my mom but I hate her because I missed her all my life.
How is your equation with the rest of the kids on the show?
All five of us enjoy our time on the sets. We play games, eat and hang out together.
Does Ronit Roy get time to bond with everyone on the sets?
Yes, Ronit Da has this thing. He doesn’t like anyone texting or talking on the phone on the sets. He wants us to all to interact, spend time together and bond. Whenever we have free time, we get together share stories, talk and mingle a lot.
How do you maintain your body?
I avoid sugar completely from my diet. I reduced the salt intake and I drink a lot of water. I have increased my quantity of protein in my food. I recommend anyone who gyms to make sure to take protein in their diet. I don't go to any dietician. I follow my own chart.
What do you do when you are not working?
I make sure to go to the gym no matter what time it is. Working out never hampers the body no matter what time you do it. Other than that I watch movies, read books among other things.
Coming to your personal life, are you seeing anyone?
No I am single at the moment.
So single and ready to mingle?
No, no, I only wish to concentrate on work for now. That's my passion.
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