Actress Smita Bansal has been working for over two decades in television, films and theatre. The popular performer will now be seen in Zee Theatre’s ‘Chanda Hai Tu’ play. Talking to Zee News Digital, she opened up on her experience, favourite co-stars and much more.
‘Chanda Hai Tu’ play will be aired on June 20, 2021, on Dish TV D2H Rangmanch at 2pm and 6 pm.
Q. With years of experience in television, what do you feel about working in plays?
A. I have been doing TV for a very long time and I have done live theatre as well. For this teleplay, the experience was very different because in television we are used to getting the script on the same day or one day in advance. But here we did rehearsals for almost a month, enacted the same scenes over and over again, polished our performance and repeated just a single line for hours and hours. It was like preparing for a theatre performance even though we knew it would be shot. Even though the rehearsals and the challenge of getting the job done in one take were kind of overwhelming, I enjoyed the entire process.
Q. Tell us about your role in Chanda Hai Tu and the challenges you faced
A. I play the mother of a physically challenged child. She and her husband take turns in taking care of the child, cater to his medical needs and work as well to run the house. It was an extremely emotional journey for me because my character goes through lots of ups and downs. Sometimes, even when she is feeling happy, even that joy is marred by guilt. The play beautifully portrays how difficult it is for a mother to allow herself to experience even a little bit of personal happiness when she has a child with special needs. The creative process was very challenging because the emotions that this mother goes through are very strong. Even if my child gets a little bit of fever, I get frantic and here I had to play the mother of a special child who is in constant need of care and protection.
Q. Has TV always been your forte or films excite you too?
A. Acting is what truly excites me but yes, television has always kept me too busy to look at any other format. TV audiences have given me a lot of love. I owe whatever success and fame I have to television so I reciprocate that love and respect. I am very comfortable in this world and feel totally at home here.
Q. Your favourite TV co-star/co-stars and why?
A. I have been working for the past 20-25 years so picking a few names is very difficult. You form a bond and a friendship with everyone you work with over a period of time. Some friendships fade away but then you meet the person in another project and reconnect like you were never out of touch. That is the beauty of our profession. Some friendships and connections stay forever while others are just ephemeral. I think this is true for every workspace.
However, Siddharth Nigam is someone I am very fond of because he played my son in Aladdin and we had a beautiful bond and chemistry. It was a pleasure to work with him also because he brought lovely energy to the set that inspired everyone to do their best. He is so full of life that he keeps the sets alive with joy. If I am asked to work again with Siddharth, I would immediately say ‘yes.
Then there is Anup Soni, who played my husband in Balika Vadhu. We were so loved as a couple and it was very beautiful and easy chemistry. The scenes used to flow very easily with Anup and Surekha Sikri Ji who is such a powerhouse of talent. The kind of performance she used to give every single day and in every single scene was breathtaking. She was never tired and always ready to do something different, something new. I feel blessed that I got to work with her so closely and learnt so much from her.
When I look back, I remember that right at the beginning of my career, I was also blessed to work with Renuka Shahane. I got so much to learn from her. She is so dedicated, so professional. Her performances flow with such ease.
Jayati Bhatia is my favourite and continues to be my best friend even though we worked together way back when we were just starting out. Our first show together was ‘Itihas’ and we learnt together, grew together and even got shouted at!
In ‘Chanda Hai Tu’ I worked with Manav who is again a pleasure to work with. It was absolutely fantastic working with him, rehearsing and then pulling off the performance in one take. We bonded pretty well.
Q. Any tips for aspiring actors?
A. I think there is a lack of patience in today’s generation. They want everything very fast and very quick. Nothing happens in a snap. You need to work hard and give your craft time to evolve. You need to know deeply about your art. If you are an actor; you should have a very good command over your language. You must know how to speak well in Hindi without an accent. You need to study classic cinema and not just watch frivolous stuff that goes for entertainment. To be good at your art, you also need to be well-read, and you need to slog and give more than your 100% each time. Set your goals, and give yourself time to reach them. Lasting success does not arrive overnight.