Rohit Roy talks about his small screen stint and B-Town plans, and why Ahmedabad will always be special to him

The very mention of Rohit Roy’s name takes one to sepia mode when Hindi entertainment television shows banked on strong scripts. Rohit cut his acting chops in Swabhimaan as the savvy biz tycoon Rishabh Malhotra in the early 90s. Since then Rohit has carved a niche for himself by juggling between his small screen and silver screen stints and has also turned director. After a short stint in Sajda Tere Pyaar Mein, Rohit’s recently been roped in to play a character in Hitler Didi. Excerpts from a chat:

You had been missing from the small screen for a very long time…
My role in Sajda… was meant to be a full fledged one — but somehow the show wrapped up after a few weeks after I entered the show and that is why everyone thought I did a cameo. I didn’t sign anything else since then, but now I am back.

What do you think about the television scenario over the years now?
All what I’m today is because of television. I feel very proud when people still remember me for Swabhimaan. I’m often remembered for my TV shows over films. I want to do more TV soaps/shows in the future. A lot of content on small screen is regressive because TV has an immense reach and targets viewers in small towns and rural areas. But then TV producers and channels can bring in a balance by getting on board good comedy and urban shows as well.

Did you ever feel upset that despite getting a launch in films, your Bollywood career didn’t shape up as you’d have liked it?
When I started doing television, many people suggested me ki filmon mein try karo. I headed for films — but in my case I should have known it in my heart that the scripts I took up were wrong. Ofcourse I was disappointed that I couldn’t taste success as a film actor but, I’ve no regrets. I took it as a part of my growth as an actor. And, believe me now when people see my performances, they are awestruck and tell me — tum itni achchi acting kaise karne lag gaye, Rohit? And I feel good.

When did you discover there’s a director in you?
While shooting for initial episodes of Swabhimaan, my questions used to be about lights, camera set up, frames et al. Mahesh (Bhatt) ji told me after listening to my questions — ‘tujhe acting karni hai toh kar le, but mark my words, you will become a director in future’. And when Sanjay Gupta asked me to direct one film in Dus Kahaaniyaan, it was a great feeling.

So what lies next for you?
I’m working with Rishi Kapoor, Danny Dengonzpa, Boman Irani and Bipasha Basu for the remake of Shaukeen. It was a dream of mine to remake Shaukeen and Chupke Chupke. I’m so happy that I’m remaking one of them at least!

How has your experience been as a director?
When you work with actors like Naseerji (Naseeruddin Shah), Shabana (Azmi)ji or like Rishi Kapoor — it’s a myth that they try to overpower you. In fact, they add 300% to your conceived script — that’s the beauty of working with such versatile actors.

You share a strong connect with Ahmedabad.
I’ve spent my school days and college years in Ahmedabad. And the places connected to one’s growing up years are always special. Even now, I’m an Amdavadi boy at heart. In fact I’m also married to a Gujarati girl (Mansi Joshi Roy); so you can understand my bonding with Gujarat. I miss coming to city, but I stay in touch with most of my school friends and have fond memories of the city.

Yours is a family of actors. So do you talk shop at dinner or family get togethers?
It is a rare event when all of us are together, but when we actually come together, it’s absolute fun. We all keep ourselves updated about each other’s moves. Ronit and I try to catch up whenever we pack up early from work and I’m very fond and proud of Sharman Joshi (Rohit’s brother in law) — he is almost like a brother. We all are always there for each other.

Source: Times of India