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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Anita Hassanandani Reddy talks Comedy Circus, Acting & Indian Television

Anita Hassanandani Reddy has taken the Indian TV industry by storm. 

Throughout the years, we have seen her in Indian films in various languages including Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Punjabi and Hindi.

Some notable works include in films like Kucch Toh Hai, Krishna Cottage and Koi Aap Sa.

However, she broke through as the main lead in Indian serials like Kabhii Sautan Kabhii Sahelii and KavyaAnjali.

Recently, she has become immensely popular playing characters like Shagun in Yeh Hai Mohabbatein and Vishakha in Naagin 3.

Besides that, though, we are witnessing Anita’s comedic prowess in the highly successful comedy series, Comedy Circus.

In conversation with Filme Shilmy, Indian TV actress Anita Hassanandani Reddy talks about participating in the latest season ace show Comedy Circus and much more.

You’ve collaborated with Optimystix several times in the past and now once again for Comedy Circus. What has your experience been like so far?

It’s been a great experience. It is really fun to be a part of the Optimystix family.

It is a great team to work with. For me, they are the love-factor and vice versa.

It is amazing to do comedy with one of the best production houses in our country.

Always it’s a pleasure to work with Optimystix.

How has the show enhanced your skills not only as an actor but also with your comedic style?

Primarily because it’s staged and there aren’t any retakes so it really works on the confidence level.

Whenever I do an Optimystix show live I just go back feeling much more confident about my skills and about performing.

Comedy is not everyone’s cup of tea.

I might have a decent comic timing which is why I’ve been cast again and it feels nice because doing comedy is the toughest things to do.

Paritosh’s comic timing is impromptu and you seem to maintain such a thick skin whilst he makes the jokes on you?

Absolutely not! A good comedian is one who laughs with the people laughing at them.

Paritosh is super sweet and everybody is nice. We crack jokes for the fun of it.

That is exactly how the atmosphere should be.

To do Comedy Circus is a delight, I feel so good. It’s a great way for me to unwind.

Image Courtesy of Optimystix Entertainment’s Official Twitter Page

You are currently doing three shows on television. How do you juggle between multiple projects?

It does get really hectic. But I know that this is my time/phase and I’m trying to make the most of it.

I love what I do and my husband is supportive so it all beautifully falls into place.

When you’re doing something you love, you don’t mind putting in the extra hours of hard work.

I’m making the most of what I do as it’s my time.

You began your career as a protagonist. Now, people recognise your grey antagonistic characters like Vishakha. Was this transition quite a challenge for you?

For me, it was about versatility because to play the heroine I realised that I had to do the crying expressions and it was so typical.

When Shagun came up for me, initially, it was a risk.

But as an actor, it’s been extremely challenging and I took it up with that thought.

It was one of the best decisions of my life and I think I’ve grown as an actor with all these negative characters, one can work on their look so much more.

There is so much freedom, not only with the performance but even with the way one dresses or looks.

I too was recognised through the kind of blouses I wore.

I’m sure if I was the lead actor of any show, I would be stuck with the typical kind of a role.

There seems to be more flexibility in playing an antagonist?

Absolutely. There are a lot more shades in playing a negative character.

Shagun eventually became positive so I actually got to do everything that an actor would want in a show.

For these five years, never have I felt bored of doing Shagun.

She is always doing something or the other, so I’m really glad that I took the step in playing the part.

An actor can be often stereotyped for playing a certain role. How does one avoid doing that?

Well, an actor does get typecast but it’s not the only central actor it happens to.

When an actor plays the villain too, they are also typecast.

But times have changed and people do acknowledge your talent.

I’ve done an Alt Balaji web show called Galti Se Mis-Tech in which I’m playing something completely different.

Having said that I do get a lot of offers for negative characters rather than the positive one.

Ultimately, I believe that doing different stuff also comes a recognition that an actor can play versatile roles.

I also believe that with time the whole stereotype would change and TV actors will not just be recognised as actors.

Listen to our interview with Anita right here!

Nowadays, we see a stronger representation of women on Indian television. Why do you think it has taken this long for the shift to happen?

It’s about the audience, you have to feed them what they want to watch and what ranks on television.

When Yeh Hai Mohabbatein started, it was something new and everybody was worried whether people would like it, given its realistic premise.

It used to be at an 11 pm slot because no one was sure that a show like YHM would be accepted.

After it got received well, it came to the prime slot.

So, they are trying to make a slow and steady shift because eventually television is about the ratings and you have to give the audience what they like to watch.

Television has evolved and grown. I’m hoping that with all the digital streaming platforms, it will only get better.

You followed Bigg Boss last year are your favourite housemates this year and why?

I saw a couple of episodes but somehow I couldn’t connect.

Although I think Karanvir Bohra is nice and there are a few characters like Dipika Kakar Ibrahim is nice and Srishty Rode is cute.

I like a few of them but something is lacking and I am unable to connect.

I haven’t been watching that much but as I’m a huge Salman fan so I end up watching Weekend Ka Vaar religiously.

I’m so busy that I don’t get to watch the show every day and if you can’t, one loses the connect.

Filme Shilmy wishes Anita all the best for her terrific work on Comedy Circus and Indian television as a whole!

Special thanks to Optimystix Entertainment, Vipul D Shah, Rakesh Juneja. Nikul Desai, Barkha Thakur and the entire team of Optimystix for facilitating the interview.

Comedy Circus airs on Sony TV every Saturday and Sunday at 21:30 GST in India and the UK.

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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