'TV is no longer a satisfying medium'

'TV is no longer a satisfying medium'

Creative calling

She has worked in blockbuster movies like Hum Aapke Hain Koun...!, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, along with popular television serials like Humrahi and Hasratein, but theatre has always been and continues to be Himani Shivpuri’s “first love”.

“Even though I got extremely busy with films and television, theatre is something which has stayed with me. I always missed doing theatre and wanted to get back to it. So, I did that as soon as I got an opportunity,” says Shivpuri who recently performed in director Atul Satya Koushik’s play, Draupadi.

“Acting remains the same, whether it is on TV, in films or in theatre, but the power of the audience’s response can only be felt in theatre. Cinema is a director’s medium, whereas, in theatre an actor is all by himself on the stage and there are no cuts. It is a different feeling altogether,” she tells Metrolife.

Born and raised in Dehradun, Shivpuri says

her journey as an actor began while she was still a school student. “I do not remember much, just that I always eagerly waited for the curtains to come down,” she laughs. The Pardes actor however adds that since she was a “brainy kid”, taking up theatre
professionally was never on her mind.

“In fact, I had got a scholarship from abroad and was all set to leave for my advance studies, when National School of Drama happened. Everyone warned me against it, but I chose to follow my dreams as I did not want to regret later. So I joined their repertory, and one thing led to another and Humrahi came my way,” she recollects. She adds, “I love acting and I want
to be there all the time. Fortunately, my hobby is my profession.”

Shivpuri, who played Devki Bhaujai’s role in the popular Doordarshan(DD) series, says that TV, which once used to be “weekend theatre”, has now become a race.

“Earlier, TV used to be considered as film’s poorer cousin. There have been technological advancements, but the quality has suffered. There is no denying that DD has given the best content on television. Unlike today, it used to be about substance and we had variety of classics to pick from. Today, all the channels are rushing for TRPs and no attention is paid to content. It is so much tedious now, and the stories are all the same. The medium is no longer satisfying,” she says.

On being asked about her preferred roles, Shivpuri, who won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 2015, says she looks forward to roles that challenge and excite her.

“It is not always about the length. The role has to be powerful, even if it is just one-scene long,” she says.

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