posted by Anuja Gondhalekar, last updated on February 5th, 2013 at 1:00 pm
In Sanskaar, if there is one person that Jai Kishan can count on in the US, it is Shaukat. Warm, helpful and fully desi, Shaukat has endeared himself to us in no time. We had a Q n A session with Hemant Thatte, who plays the loving character.
Q: Hi Hemant, who is Shaukat according to you?
A: Shaukat is a very positive person. He never shows his sorrows, and helps everyone around. There are a few scenes like the scene where he is flipping through the album or when Shaukat and Jai are put in jail which really bring out his character. He himself is sad or in trouble, but he focuses more on consoling Jai, which is really great.
Q: Did playing Shaukat come naturally to you or was it difficult?
A: Initially, it was difficult, but thankfully I had a lot of people to spoon-feed the character to me. Swapna (Waghmare-Joshi), my director Deepak, and the writers were a big help. They told me what worked and what didn’t, and then gave me complete freedom to play the character the way I want it.
Q: You and Jai Kishan have bonded on the show. Does this friendship extend off-screen as well?
A: Absolutely! We are very close off-screen and the two of us have crazy fun on the sets, like, we keep spraying water at each other and talking. The US schedule really helped us bond as we were together for 12 hours on the sets and were also living in the same hotel room. Even after coming back, that connection has lasted.
Q: How was the experience of shooting in the US?
A: It was incredible, indescribable. Even when I had no sequence to shoot, I used to wake up early and go on sets, or just take off on my own to explore.
Q: Any particularly memorable incident?
A: It wasn't an incident but the Times Square shoot was something I'll never forget. Not many TV actors get to shoot their scenes on Times Square when it is all lit up at night. I told Jay that this was like a dream coming true for me. Also, the crew threw a small party for me on my birthday (30th November) so I also celebrated my birthday in the US!
Q: Has the character of Shaukat generated interest? What are the reactions like?
A: The best reaction has been from my family, who watches the show from me despite not following any Hindi serials! On a serious note, people do recognize me as Shaukat now. I was in a mall the other day and a 5-year old boy and his mother followed me to talk to me. I was surprised when the mother told me that her son loved me on the show, and was very happy to get such a young fan.
Q: How will the character of Shaukat develop in the future?
A: Shaukat has already helped Jai a lot in all his problems. Now the track will obviously shift to his job and his life but you can be sure of the fact that Shaukat will be there with him every step of the way.