Soon after reports emerged announcing Ankita Lokhande is back to shoot for the new season of the TV show Pavitra Rishta, fans of Sushant Singh Rajput reacted sharply on social media. The news agitated Sushant's fans who say they won't accept any other actor in the role of Manav, a character originally essayed by the late actor.
While Ankita reprises her role as Archana, Shaheer Sheikh has been roped in to play Manav Deshmukh, the character originally played by Sushant and later by Hiten Tejwani. As agitated fans continue to claim that they would not watch the show, which no longer features Sushant as Manav, Shaheer has finally opened up about the most common emotion.
When Shaheer was asked about fans' reaction on him playing Manav on Pavitra Rishta 2, the actor said that fans don't have to replace Sushant with him since he is already there. He also said that he has technically replaced Hiten as Manav since the latter was the last actor who played the character on the screen.
"Honestly, I have replaced Hiten Tejwani, because it was he who was doing the show before I was. For the last two and half years of the show, I think he was playing the character of Manav. So, I have technically replaced him. For the fans, I feel they don't have to replace him (Sushant Singh Rajput) with me. He is there. He has done so many projects after that," Shaheer told Outlook India.
Further talking about his honest efforts on portaying Manav, Shaheer added, "This is something fresh and something new and something that we have done with an honest approach. We have given it our all. It was an honest effort from my side. When I see that onscreen I can feel that a little. I don't know what people think of it. From my end, it was an honest approach. It was 'work' for me, and I would never say no to work. I am an actor at the end of the day. If I had not done it somebody else would have picked it up. I felt it was a good character and I wanted to do justice to it, and so, I gave it my all."
Earlier, Shaheer had spoken about how he prepared for the role. "Manav, I think is one of the most pure and earnest character that I have ever played till date. It inspires you to be this good person and it makes you believe that in today's generation also such people do exist," Shaheer had said.
He said he had to convince himself mentally to understand Manav. "For me to get into the character, I had to convince myself mentally and to understand Manav and understanding the vision of the makers. So that's the way I tried to prepare for this character keeping a lot of things in mind," he said.
Pavitra Rishta first aired in 2009. It is produced by Ekta Kapoor of Balaji Telefilms. In 2020, the series was rebroadcast on Zee TV.
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