Playing the part of Hrithik Raheja in Naagin, Arjun Bijlani is all set to wow audiences with his histrionics and charm
One of the dishy dudes of the TV industry, Arjun Bijlani is a pretty effortless performer as well. The actor, who has spent a decade in the industry is now being seen on TV in the supernatural thriller series, Naagin. The actor took a mini-break from TV before he came back with a bang as the casanova lawyer Shikhar Mehra on Meri Aashiqui Tum Se Hi. Excerpts from an interview...
What can we expect from Naagin?
Well, it is an entertaining thriller with its origins in folklore and mythology. It will keep the audiences on their toes with its twists and turns. Though it is a classic vendetta story, the treatment is quite modern.
Tell us a bit about the shoot in Bikaner. You are looking dashing as a royal…
We did the first schedule at Bikaner’s Gajner Palace. It was a beautiful heritage property. The credit for my look goes to my stylist, Shivani. She has been working with me since my Miley Jab Hum Tum days. I am glad that we have quite a few good creative minds working on the project.
Your stint as Shikar on MATSH was highly appreciated. Did playing the parallel role ever bother you?
No…not at all. It is very tough for a new face to get recognized in a show that already has a strong romantic pair in place. I took up the role of Shikhar as a challenge. I had complete faith in the character. It was nice to see that fans wanted to see Ishaani getting married to me.
From Sasural Simar Ka to Naagin, there is a sudden burst of supernatural themes on TV. What’s your take?
I feel women who give us the TRPs love the supernatural (laughs out loud). There is a certain appeal for this kind of drama in urban as well as rural viewers. Even international channels like Discovery, Nat Geo and others explore themes like haunted spots, black magic and mysticism. The story of the Icchadhari Naagin is a part of our folklore. We have heard its stories. In our show, we are presenting it as a thriller.
How is Mouni Roy as a co-star?
I know Mouni from quite some time. She is a wonderful girl and a sweet co-star.
You have done varied roles across shows. Is it a conscious effort?
Yes, when I grow old and look back I should be proud of my work. I am an actor and derive my sense of fun from doing versatile roles. An actor grows only after he steps out of his comfort zone. In TV, progression is dependent on the director, production house and character. One has to choose well.
What do you think about finite shows?
I feel it is an excellent concept. You have a better idea about your character/story in a finite show. It is more exciting for actors as they can move onto new shows and production teams after a certain span of time. A never-ending soap can be very monotonous for an actor.
You did a film, Direct Ishq but that is yet to be released. Do you regret the decision looking back?
Not really. I have spent 10-11 years in the TV industry and I will be loyal to it. I have always taken up work out of choice and not compulsion (touch wood). I wanted to experiment with my career and hence took up the film project. I wanted to explore myself. However, I will be very careful about my career from now on.
When is the film releasing?
The film is ready. It should release early next year. Releasing a film is not in my hands. Yes, it is disappointing but I am glad that I got projects like MATSH and now Naagin. Henceforth, I will be careful with film projects. I will only opt for a banner that can produce a good film and market it brilliantly.
How has fatherhood changed your life?
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It is the most awesome feeling. I was never the type of guy who did not want to get hitched or have a kid. Many people tell me I look too young to be a dad. I love having Ayaan in my life. I will be like a friend to my son. He is very small now, I want him to grow a little older so that I can play with him, have our little secrets and so on. I have this kid hidden inside me and Ayaan will take it out.