A dose of laughter

Tele talk
Last Updated 23 January 2016, 18:34 IST

She is one of Indian television’s most hated vamps. But there is much more to her than this negative image.

Actress Anita Hassanandani, who is better known as Shagun from the popular Star Plus show Yeh Hai Mohabbatein, has turned a stand-up comedian on the latest reality show Comedy Nights Bachao on Colors. Although she has hosted a stand- up comedy show before, this time the actress is a performer, making people laugh.

When asked why she chose to appear on the comedy show, Anita said, “This is a first for me and it’s been an experience of a lifetime. Hosting a comedy show and reading out my lines from the teleprompter is so different from actually seeing the humour in every situation and making people laugh. Comedy is not easy. Although the show is scripted, it is still tough to make people smile.”

Explaining the reason behind taking up a negative role in a daily soap, Anita says, “So many people advised me against playing Shagun. But now, when I get all kinds of feedback from the audience, right from hate mails to praises, I feel I made the right call.”

Anita, who has never been vocal about her career or her personal life, feels Comedy Nights Bachao will open her up as a person. “People feel I am an introvert and take time to come out of my shell. But I love cracking jokes and have a good sense of humour.” Interestingly, the show has her imitating her good friend and producer Ekta Kapoor. “I have known Ekta for so many years, so it is not a tough job,” she laughingly admits.

Talking more about Ekta’s contribution to her career, Anita says, “When I started out as an actress, I was only 16 and I had no idea about the dynamics in the industry. Ekta was the one who guided me and gave me my first break. It was her conviction and intuition that helped me grow. Today, whatever I am, I owe it to her.”

Anita lost her father at a young age and was doing her first show at that time. She adds, “I have tasted success and failure at a young age, and that has made me strong. I was lucky to have had the opportunity to do both television and films at an early stage of my career. I still remember the excitement and sense of satisfaction I felt when I would get my paycheck.”

Anita has been a part of films including Kuch To Hai, Yeh Dil, Krishna Cottage, Just Married, Dus Kahaniyaan apart from a few successful films in Telugu, Tamil and Kannada. The actress also recently worked in Salman Khan Production’s Hero.

Life’s been taking a positive direction on personal front as well. She got married to banker Rohit Reddy. Talking about her married life, Anita adds, “I feel my second innings has started in the industry. My in-laws and husband are extremely supportive and caring. Rohit encouraged me when I was took up Comedy Nights Bachao. He feels I have a capacity to push my limits.”

(Published 23 January 2016, 14:51 IST)

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