Zee Theatre presents Akarsh Khurana's rollicking entertainer 'Yeh Shaadi Nahi Ho Sakti' which is airing today at Dish TV & D2H Rangmanch and Airtel Theatre. Adapted from Shakespeare's comedy 'The Taming Of The Shrew', this teleplay is also a witty take on love and marriage. The play is headlined by Prajakta Koli, Shikha Talsania, Chaitanya Sharma, Adhaar Khurana, Aseem Hattangady, Gopal Dutt, Akash Khurana, Siddharth Kumar, Pawan Uttam, Sarthak Kakkar, and Lisha Bajaj.
In this conversation with Outlook, Prajakta speaks about working with Akarsh Khurana, her take on marriage, and the pros and cons of being an influencer.
Q. We saw you doing some great roles in your previous stint, for example, 'Mismatched' and 'Jugjugg Jeeyo' . How do you think 'Yeh Shaadi' is going to add to the growing repertoire of your acting career?
I grew up being a masala Bollywood fan, and I have loved watching all of those over dramatic and colourful romantic films like, 'Hum Aapke Hain Kaun', 'Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke', 'Hum Saath-Saath Hain', 'Andaz Apna Apna', Coolie No. 1' and 'Biwi No.1'. And when I saw Akarsh putting this teleplay together, I knew that I would be missing out on a great opportunity, If I did not work on it. It was great fun to shoot this story as if we were in the 90s. In fact, it is written like a 90's film. I’m just hoping that all that overacting really entertains the audience!
Q. Would you like to talk about your experience working with actors like Shiksha Talsania and being directed by Akarsh?
Of course. I have loved Shikha’s work and have watched her with great delight on screen and on stage. I have also had the pleasure of meeting her, and hanging out with her a couple of times and so working with her was really special because she happens to be extremely sweet and very warm. I hung out with Cheetah a lot this time, and Adhaar and Sarthak also happen to be very good friends. As for the rest of the cast, other than Pawan sir and Gopal sir, I had actually met everyone else earlier. Even though I had met Akash uncle before, I was very nervous to work with him. He however put me at ease and the whole experience was just a lot of fun. And as for Akarsh, working with him is always a joy.
Q. What was so interesting about this project that you said yes? Would you like to talk about the role and the prep that went behind it?
I think many factors drew me to this project. The first being that Akarsh was making it and he is someone I have loved as a friend and mentor and also worked with in 'Mismatched'. Then of course, the cast was just too much fun to collaborate with. And yes, this was a very new and exciting opportunity as I had never done anything like it before. As for my role, I play Priya, the youngest daughter of the family who is in love with Lucky or Lakshman (Chaitnya Sharma) and wants to marry him but her elder sister isn’t ready to get hitched. So then an elaborate plan is hatched to introduce her to an eligible groom and much mayhem follows!
Q. Also since the story is about wedding, can we know your thoughts about marriage?
Since I am not married, my thoughts about marriage won't make any sense. I think each person has a different perspective on marriage. For some, the institution may work and for others, it may not. I don’t really have any thoughts about this.
Q. Prajakta you have a great social media presence but every medium has its pros and cons. How do you deal with bad criticism or comments that can somehow impact the actor in you?
I don’t think criticism can be bad if it helps you to grow and I take this kind of feedback in my stride. But if it’s just baseless hate, then, it does not count. Because I’ve been putting my work out there for over eight years, I have kind of grown a thick skin and learnt very early that it’s not my responsibility to school trolls. I know better than to get affected by negativity or let it seep through my mind.
Q. In a current time when the line between influencer and celebrity is slowly dying down, how do you keep the balance intact and stay grounded and what does being an influencer mean to you?
I don’t know what balance you’re talking about. The people in my immediate circle are my reality check and that is how I correct myself and stay grounded. I am also one hundred percent aware that it is because of the backing of my audience that I am here today. The audience has always had my back through every new project or leap that I undertake so that awareness is truly humbling. Also when I started doing content, 'influencer' was not a popular term and till date, I refer to myself as a content creator. For me, a content creator is someone who impacts lives in a positive way.
Q. Lastly, what are the pros and cons of being an influencer?
Let me be very honest with you. I’m not being hyper-optimistic here, but genuinely, I’m yet to see the cons of being an influencer or as I call myself, a content creator. I’m very grateful that I get to live this life, and that this is my job that I so enjoy and get to do every day. I am happy in this role. The pros are that I get to live my life the way I want to. I get to write and shoot, and not one day is like another. Each day has a different story to tell.