New Delhi: TV actor Shaheer Sheikh, who is set to play the role of Manav in the OTT reboot of the hit show Pavitra Rishta, recently opened up on his apprehensions and initial doubts about stepping into late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s former role. In an interview with an entertainment portal, he revealed that people around him questioned him if he really wanted to replace Sushant in the show and if he would be able to live up to his legacy. He confessed that this made him nervous as he feared that people might not accept him.
He told SpotboyE, “A lot of people told me that are you sure you want to do this character? Because it was a legendary character of such a hit show played by Sushant Singh Rajput. People will have very high expectations from you. I was anyway not very sure if I should take up the show and after hearing all such things, I started feeling even more nervous. In fact, the first thought I had was, ‘Mujhe accept hi nahi karenge log’.”
When asked about his thoughts on Sushant, Shaheer said, “I have met him twice but we didn’t know each other personally. What I know about him is that he was the guy who took the risk of quitting his hit television show for Bollywood. To attempt something big in life you have to take a big risk which he did. For television actors like us, he opened a way there. In my recent post also I had mentioned that how his way of accepting challenges motivated me to take up this challenge. Maine ye socha agar meri jagah Sushant hota to vo challenge ko face karta, harta nahi, darta nahi.”
“I remember during the release of Kai Po Che, a media person had asked me what do you think about it and I had told that he has opened the door for us. A long time back it was Shah Rukh Khan sir who did Circus on TV and ended up becoming a Bollywood star and now it is Sushant Singh Rajput,” he added.
A few days ago, netizens had taken to Twitter to express their discontentment over Shaheer replacing Sushant and flooded the microblogging site with #BoycottPavitraRishta.
Last week, on July 11, Ekta Kapoor’s digital platform ALTBalaji announced that the show will be back on screen with Shaheer Sheikh as Manav and Ankita Lokhande as Archana.
After Sushant Singh Rajput quit the show for his movie career, actor Hiten Tejwani played Manav’s role for almost 3 years. Pavitra Rishta went off-air in 2014.
The show completed 12 years on June 1, 2021, and recalling the project, Ankita Lokhande, took to her Instagram account and even shared a clip featuring her and Sushant. Created by Ekta Kapoor, the show revolved around Manav (Sushant) and Archana (Ankita), a married couple. The two became a household favourite with their stint on the Hindi drama. Sushant and Ankita dated for about six years before calling it quits.
Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead at his Bandra residence on June 14, 2020. The investigation is still underway.