Gashmeer Mahajani: “In a TV show, audience love the character and not the actor”

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Gashmeer Mahajani became a household name after he starred in the TV show ‘Imlie’. Not many are aware, but the actor actually made his foray into showbiz with a Bollywood movie way back in 2010, called ‘Dekh Zara’. The movie tanked at the Box office and Gashmeer made his way to the Marathi movie industry.

In a chat with TOI, the ‘Imlie’ actor says, “My career started 12 years ago when I did that Hindi film, but in my mind, I started working in showbiz only seven years ago. There is no bitterness. The film suffered because it was not executed well and had a weak script. But I understood how a film is made. Though my father is a Marathi film actor, I used to spend a lot of time with the late cinematographer, Ashok Mehta, who wanted me to act, so I did a Hindi film. But I am happy that my Marathi films found a connect with audiences.”

When he was asked about his Bollywood experience, Gashmeer honestly replied, “When you do films, the BO element is important. There is already a set of people who are doing well and their films fetch good numbers at the BO. So, makers would want to work with them because they get the initial audience in theatres. Filmmakers would not want to follow the unconventional method and work with a newcomer easily.”

But he was quick to note, that the digital streaming platform is a lot kinder towards new talent. He says, “In a web show, a newcomer can make his mark and get chosen on merit. This gives rise to a new actor’s career.”

After being a part of some interesting Marathi movies, Gashmeer ventured into the television space with the popular show, ‘Imlie’ and his role ‘Aditya’ soon became wildly popular. But, after a year of playing lead for the show, Gashmeer quit, to pursue other projects.

Speaking about his decision to leave the show, Gashmeer shares, “Imlie is a good show and is doing well. The initial 200 episodes were shot like an OTT show and there was good content. However, I quit after a year because I felt I was struggling to keep my character going. Also, in the TV business, not just Imlie, shows tend to drag. It is natural for a maker to continue the story because they have invested in the show and only after 200 episodes does it start reaping benefits. But for an actor, if he wants to grow, he has to consider other options and move on.”

It has been over five months since Gashmeer Mahajani quit as the lead in the popular TV show and he seems to have moved to the web space.

When asked if he missed playing the character of Aditya or the immense popularity he received because of the show, Gashmeer says, “In a TV show, your audience is transitory and everyone knows that it’s your character that has become popular and not you. After a few months, if you quit the show and someone else takes over, and if he does his job well, people will fall in love with that character. Seventy per cent of the audience is in love with the character and not the actor, so an actor should not mistake that popularity to be real. Imlie gave me a lot, but career building is a slow and steady process and only if the current TV audience follows me on my other work projects, then it can be considered that I am getting popular.”

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