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Nia Sharma on her absence from TV: It was a conscious decision

The Indian TV space has long been beset by problems such as long working hours, delay in remuneration, harassment and toxic environment on sets.
Last Updated : 16 June 2024, 10:47 IST

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Mumbai: Actor Nia Sharma, popular for TV shows such as Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hai and Jamai Raja, says she decided to stay away from the small screen as she was "sceptical" about its future at a time when every other show was going off air in a few months.

As someone who has been part of long-running soap operas, including Ishq Mein Marjawan, the actor said she wanted to wait for the right opportunity which came in the form of her latest outing Suhagan Chudail, which airs on Colors TV.

Her previous show appearance was in the Ekta Kapoor-produced Naagin 4, which ended in 2020. In the last four years, she has starred in reality shows such as Khatron Ke Khiladi: Made in India, emerging as winner, and Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 10.

"It was a conscious decision (to not do TV shows) as the idea was that TV overall in the last few years has really drained in terms of TRP. Every show was shutting (down) in three to four months. The kind of shows I’ve done, they had longevity, they were running for years and years. I always believed that a project shouldn't be like, ‘It came and it went off air and no one was aware about it’."

"I'm sceptical of those kinds of things, and that’s why I was consciously not taking up a TV project because everyone was experimenting. Nobody was sure and even the roles that I got (offered), I did not resonate with them. All the shows that were being offered to me went off (air) in three months. So, I was kind of okay, ‘Thankfully, I did not take it up’," Sharma told PTI in an interview here.

The Indian TV space has long been beset by problems such as long working hours, delay in remuneration, harassment and toxic environment on sets.

According to Sharma, the situation is less likely to improve because the focus of the industry is to churn out content regularly.

“We always know of certain things that television faces, it's the working conditions, which will always be there because it's (mostly about) daily soaps. They're churning out content on a daily basis, they're not here to set examples about how a TV show set should be... We all are aware of these conditions,” she added.

After cementing her position in showbiz, the Delhi-born actor said she has started "demanding" the treatment she believes she deserves.

“... Like, I do have a lavish vanity for myself, the money is great. The show (‘Suhagan Chudail’) has come on my own terms and conditions. Going forward in life, the kind of experience that you have, you’re treated as per that. They are not going to lay a bed of roses for you on television. Let's face it, it's ‘take it or leave it’. I'm not trying to defend the situation here, but this is how it is,” she added.

Creatively too, Sharma, 33, pointed out the environment is not conducive for actors as they often don’t get enough time to prepare for roles.

“… You think you'll get to really read a scene 10 times before doing a scene in the initial bit. Yes, but going forward, they'll only be bothered about sending a telecast to be uploaded on air.” But, she has learnt not to compromise on her terms and conditions.

“I want a great treatment. That's the only condition I have. I want to be treated very well... I want to go back home after a certain number of hours, where most of the time actors are expected to just stay back. I stay on my terms, I want my money on time. These are the basic things that I would want to keep doing in the industry," she added.

Suhagan Chudail follows Deeya (Debchandrima Singha Roy), who must save her love Moksh (Zayn Ibad Khan), from the clutches of Nishigandha, a witch driven by a thirst for immortality.

The actor, who plays Nishigandha in the serial, said there is nothing "negative" about her character as she simply is on a mission to achieve what she wants.

“It's just that she has her own agenda in the show. It will be a love triangle between these three people. Like, how she (Deeya) will keep protecting the love of her life (Moksh) and how Nishigandha is on a quest to kill that guy. That's what the show is going to be about and not a typically negative lead, whose only agenda is to break the couple up,” she said.

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Published 16 June 2024, 10:47 IST

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