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    Feb 2010


    Default A child was bewildered to see me in shorts: Devoleena Bhattacharjee

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    Though Devoleena Bhattacharjee executed the grey character role of Baani in Imagine TVís Sawaare Sabke Sapne Preeto with aplomb, the role of hers that seems to have been indelibly etched in the minds of the viewers is that of Gopi bahu in Star Plusí Saath Nibhana Saathiya (Sunrise Productions).

    The role has endeared so much to viewers all around that she is considered the ideal daughter-in-law by many mothers-in-law all across the country. Many naÔve viewers expect her to be the same in real life.

    In a candid interview with us, the actress speaks of her role in Saath Nibhana Saathiya, her interaction with Giaa Maanek who previously played Gopi bahu, her hobbies and why doesnít she have a boyfriend etc.


    Can you relate to the role of Gopi Bahu? How are you similar or different from her?

    (smiles) I can indeed relate to her emotional make up, however I am not calm like her. On the contrary I am the naughtiest actress on the set.

    Gopi Bahu is more assertive than before. Isnít that a good change in her?

    (pauses) Yes, I am feeling good about that too. After all, the soap has completed three years and it is but natural for her character to evolve and she can now fend for herself.

    Do you think that the success of your show goes on to proclaim that saas bahu still rules the small screen?

    (pauses) Yes, of course. Letís admit it that at the end of the day, most housewives want to watch a show they can connect with. So saas bahu shows work very well for them.

    A year or two ago Saath Nibhana Saathiya was the number one show. However, itís lost that position. What do you have to say about that?

    We are still amongst the top five shows. In one of the weeks of December 2012, we were the number one show. Fluctuations in TRP happen to all the shows on air.

    Have you met Giaa Maanek who played the previous Gopi bahu?

    Yes, I did meet her at my co-star Vishal Singhís birthday party and also on the occasion of the 8th anniversary celebrations of ABP Newsí Saas Bahu aur Saazish. We had a very pleasant interaction (laughs).

    When you meet your fans, do they expect you to be like a good and demure bahu in real life?

    (blushes) Oh yes! Let me give you an instance. A few days ago, I met an elderly lady while in a Shani temple. She enquired about my marital status and told me that she felt that I was as virtuous as Gopi bahu. She advised me to get married soon and be just as nice to my mother-in-law as Gopi is.

    There is another instance of a 11-year old child, who had come to act in Saath Nibhana Saathiya. She was bewildered to see me in shorts after the pack up of the shoot. The baffled kid had expected me to be clad in a saree off screen too.

    If you were to write the show, would you portray Gopiís role differently?

    (pauses) I would make no change, as I think the writers have done quite a good job. Maybe, I would give Gopi different hairstyles from time-to-time though.

    Will you be comfortable with it if your soap goes for a generation leap?

    The writers have told me that itís quite unlikely for our show to go for a generation leap. However, it canít be completely ruled out either. I will cross that bridge if that does really happen.

    You have done a jewellery designing course. What do you think of the jewellery Gopi wears?

    I love the simple, elegant and traditional Gujarati jewellery that Gopi wears.

    You hail from Assam. Do you think that North-East India is quite neglected and that includes the TV industry as well?

    (sighs) All I can say is that it is true that North-East India is neglected and that includes the TV industry. I wonít like to elaborate much on this as I have to delve into political issues to fully answer that.

    Are you open to doing reality shows (may be dance shows as you are a talented dancer)? What about Bigg Boss?

    I am open to being in dance reality shows though I am quite unsure whether I would like to be a part of Bigg Boss.

    What is that one thing which media and viewers donít know about you which you would like to tell us about?

    (laughs) That is a secret.

    What kind of roles would you never do?

    I am open to doing all kinds of roles as long as it has a good story and script and I have a strong character to play.

    What is your dream role like?

    It would be that of Kumud in Saraswatichandra as she is a very interesting character who is innocent, mischievous as well as mature.

    Could you chart the changes you would like in the Indian TV industry?

    There are so many things that need to be changed but I rather not pin point to anything in particular.

    What do you think are your strengths and weaknesses as an actress?

    I can genuinely feel the character I am playing. When I stepped into Giaa Maanekís shoes to play Gopi bahu, I was confident enough because I had faith in myself. I am not over confident though. I was previously a theatre artiste who has on a daily basis learnt new things as a TV actress. Now I know a lot of technical details like camera and lighting. Every actor needs to learn to improve. I continue to learn new things daily.

    What are your hobbies?

    I like to sing, dance, paint and play with my pets. I like to sing songs which connect with my prevailing mood. I like to dabble in abstract painting which involves the blending of many colours. I have two Labradors named Maddy and Buddy and may fishes.

    Do you have a boyfriend?

    No. I am so busy with my work and I sincerely donít have the time to go out on dates.

    What kind of qualities are you looking in a husband?

    He should be loyal, caring, trustworthy and lovable. I actually leave it up to God to find me my soul mate.



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