Sanjay Gagnani is currently playing the role of antagonist Prithvi Malhotra in Zee TV's popular drama Kundali Bhagya. The show features Shraddha Arya and Dheeraj Dhoopar as the protagonists. Kundali Bhagya has recently achieved a huge milestone of 1000 episodes.
Now, in an exclusive interview with Bollywood Hungama, Sanjay Gagnani spoke at a length about his journey and reaching such a huge milestone. Ask him Sanjay how his character has evolved in these years, he says, “Amongst all the characters in Kundali Bhagya, it is my character Prithivi Malhotra that has evolved the most. When I say this, I want you to know that this character was supposed to be a cameo for 3 months. The only character brief that I got from the creative team was that this character will be introduced as a typical Rajshri hero. They said it will be like how Salman Khan was in Hum Saath Saath Hain, very simple, classy, down to earth, sophisticated, and well-mannered. This was the only brief which I got when I was cast for the show. But, slowly and gradually because the audience accepted my role and they liked what I did so later on the makers decided to make it a negative character. It has evolved in such a manner that now Prithvi Malhotra is one of the most complex characters written and portrayed on Indian Television. He has definitely evolved with time because previously his motive was only to take revenge, but later on, he fell in love with Preeta (Shraddha Arya) and he already had a girlfriend Sherlyn (Ruhi Chaturvedi) and then he got married to Kritika. He is one of the most unpredictable characters and even one of the most complex characters.”
Talking about going from a cameo role to negative character, Sanjay explains, "When I started as a cameo, I had only Neeraj Baliyan by my side and on day 1, I never thought that I'm supposed to leave the show in the next 2 or 3 months. I gave my best even then and even today I give my best to entertain the audiences. I think it is a collective result of not just my hard work, but it's a complete team effort and I have seen the magic happen that a cameo character has turned into the negative lead and gave successfully completed 4 years and 1000 episodes.”
“I think every actor goes through a lot of ups and downs and it has not been different to me. I have been through a lot of ups and downs on my personal level also and on my professional level also. If I conclude the journey of 4 years from start till now, it has been nothing less than a magical journey. From that journey, I can just say that I'm blessed with the best, the best production house, the best channel, the best team, the best viewers and worldwise not just India. Any actor would feel blessed with such a thing as 1000 episodes. 1000 episodes are such a huge milestone. It is like for films, it is a 100 crore mark, for television it is a 1000 episode mark,” he adds about his journey.
Speaking of the memories, he says, “Every single day has been a memorable one till now. If I want to highlight then, it would be all the awards that I have won for the role of Prithvi Malhotra and for Kundali Bhagya because it feels great to receive an award. With god's grace, I have won 6 awards for the same role till now. So those were the most memorable moments and the main highlight of the journey. Also meeting with Ekta ma'am for the first time, she was complimenting me that she liked my work, I think that was the biggest award to me.”
Speaking about the villainous role and extreme reactions towards him, he says, “Honestly, when I got to know I'm going to play a villain, I was all mentally prepared to receive all the hate but surprisingly and gradually with the passage of time, people stopped hating me and started loving me. I do have a lot of haters, but more than haters I have a lot of admirers and lovers who love me for my role and everything which I do. So it has been a very surprising and a very shocking thing for me because when you play a villain you cannot expect anything apart from hate. They have also given me a tag called a 'villainero' which means villain+ hero. So, it has been a very surprising journey for me because I would never think that a villain would be looked at in such a manner.”
"I have given in my heart, blood and soul because when I was cast for the show, I was well aware that it is the number one production house in the country and it was Zee Tv. So, I didn't have the option but to prove myself, I had the do or die situation, where I had a lot of pressure and stress on me. I knew a platform like this, a channel and a production house like this; I wouldn't come across every now and then. So, there was a lot of pressure to perform and to make a mark and make my permanent place in the show, I didn't wanted to end it in 2 or 3 months. So, I made sure that I gave my best,” he says.
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