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02-07-2013, 01:18 AM #1
It's a great achievement for an actor when he is recognised by his screen name: Dilip "Jethalal" Jos
Versatile Dilip Joshi, who started off in Galatnama in 1994 and furthered it up with shows like Kabhi Yeh Kabhi Woh, Zara Hatke, Agadam Bagdam Tigdam, F.I.R. (TV series) and C.I.D among others, has endeared himself to viewers of Taraak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah (Asit Modiís Neela Teelfilms) on SAB TV by playing Jethalal Champaklal Gada with effortless ease.
We walks into the sets of Taraak Mehta and corners him for a candid interview where he talks about the character he essays, his popularity, his life on the sets and what the real Dilip Joshi is indeed like. Excerpts:
Do you think that people who live in close-knit middle class cooperative housing societies identify better with Taraak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah than those living in affluent and modern cooperative societies where neighbours donít even know one anotherís names?
Very few Indians are born with a golden spoon in their mouth. However I feel that even the affluent do identify with our show. This I can say because whenever I go to see a film at the INOX at the Pheonix Mills premises at Lower Parel, Mumbai, residents of Malabar Hills and Marine Lines that comprise of the rich and the affluent, recognise and greet me fondly.
How do you feel when you are greeted as Jethalal?
I think itís a great achievement for an actor when he is recognised by his screen name. This goes to show that he has played his role so very convincingly that the fans have forgotten his real identity and personality.
How much has the character of Jethalal grown into you?
How can the character grow into me? I am, after all, a professional actor who is playing this role. Once the make-up is taken off me, I just slip out of my character. There would have been a great crisis if I started living the role in real life (laughs).
What has been your most memorable moment till date while enacting Jethalal?
(pauses) Well, there have been so many of them. However, as we have completed more than 1000 episodes, it is really difficult to pin point just one.
You had earlier said in an interview that the main thing viewers like about the Jethalal-Daya jodi is their innocence. Please elaborate.
Here, the innocence is like any other husband and wife. Even when they are at war, they just canít fight for long and soon they are back to square one and start joking. They donít hold grudges. In fact, they are quick to forget and forgive. In fact, if you must have noticed, nobody in Gokuldham Cooperative Housing Society nurses grudges.
You are also called ĎTappu ka Pappaí. Would you say that, in a way, you and Bhavya Gandhi (the child who plays Tappu) share a father-son relationship?
Yes, in a way we surely do. Bhavya is a well-behaved child. He is a sharp and quick learner. When I teach him certain acting tactics, he immediately understands and executes them excellently. At times, he even goes on to improvise and has matured a lot as an actor.
Asit Modi is thinking of making a film on Taraak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah film. Please comment.
I am not the right person to comment on this. It is best that you ask Asitji as I know nothing about it. He hasnít sounded us on this yet. Like you, I too have read similar news in the newspapers.
Do you think that your experience as a theatre actor has moulded you into a better TV actor?
TV and theatre are two very different mediums. Acting canít be taught, it is an inborn talent. Good acting comes from the heart. Nevertheless, theatre is a good platform to hone oneís acting skills. In TV, one needs to work harder to attract eyeballs of viewers. People often watch TV while being busy with mundane daily activities. There may be so many distractions; the phone may ring when you are watching TV. So to hold the attention of TV viewers, you need to be a bit loud while acting. Movies, unlike TV, is a larger-than-life experience. Viewers visit a movie hall just to watch a film and are focused on the screen alone.
What has been the most touching comment by a fan that you have received till date?
We get plenty of fan feedbacks. However the most touching fan feedback was when we heard that our humour helped a man get out of his state of depression. This man had lost crores of rupees in the share market after which he was very depressed. His brother suggested that he start watching Taraak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah to get out of the state. His brother thanked us that we were instrumental in saving the manís life. We were very much touched.
How has Taraak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah changed your life?
(smiles) Hmm! I have become very busy. I have been working for about 12 hours a day daily since the last four and a half years. Though I have been missing out on many social activities, I am still the same Dilip Joshi. Maybe peopleís perception about me has changed.
How would you describe the real Dilip Joshi?
I am a happy-go-lucky man who likes to have fun, lead a simple life, spend quality time with his family and avoid parties or attend lesser parties. I watch movies, visit restaurants and like to travel to new places.
What are your likes and dislikes?
I really donít wish to divulge too many of my personal details. Otherwise people may misuse my details and create fake IDs on social networking sites.
You are very health conscious and eat healthy...
Yes, I am indeed careful regarding what I eat. I like to remain healthy as, after all, acting in a comedy serial requires energy and physical fitness. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. My weakness is however sweets and I eat a lot of them during Diwali (laughs).
Tell us about your wife and family.
I really donít wish to speak on my family either as I donít wish to divulge personal details.
You havenít been too active on Twitter since the last two or three years. You arenít too active on Facebook either. Why?
That is because I want to maintain some kind of privacy for myself. Moreover, I do not have the time to be active on those sites. After all, I work for 12 hours daily after which I am dead tired. I try to spend as much time I can with my family after work.
The second thing is that I donít feel comfortable sharing so much about my life on social networking sites. Nowadays, people share almost everything with everybody on social networking sites. People chat on Whatsapp instead of meeting up.
You improvise a lot on the sets of Taraak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah. Comment.
Asit Modi and his writers have given us the liberty to improvise and we are indeed very lucky at that. The whole cast sits together and rehearses the dialogues. We know a particular scene thoroughly before executing it.
What attributes should a good comedy actor have?
He needs to have a good sense of comic timing and a great sense of humour. They should know what not to do instead of knowing what to do.
What kind of roles will you never ever do?
I will never ever do vulgar roles and comedies with double meaning dialogues.
Given the opportunity, which historical character would you like to play?
I donít think I look like any historical character, but given the opportunity, may be Gandhiji.
What changes would you like to effect in the Indian television industry?
Only in India do TV actors work seven days a week. We should get an off on Sundays. We should work for eight hours a day instead of a 12 hour shift. We need to spend some time with our families. For that, things need to be more organised.
What do you like to watch on TV?
I watch sports, news, movies and the National Geographic Channel.
02-13-2013, 01:05 PM #2
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