It has been a challenging but a very satisfactory journey
Expresses Smita Bansal talking about Aladdin: Naam Toh Suna Hoga
Aladdin: Naam Toh Suna Hoga has completed 2 years. How does that feel?
It is very overwhelming. People have been giving us the same amount of love since day 1, and that is a really beautiful feeling. For any show to run for a long time is not enough, what actually matters is how much the audience is liking the show. Aladdin is one show which, when it started, we knew it will go on for a long time considering the beautiful concept of the show.
Your character in the show has evolved a lot over this period of time- a mother, an evil Genie and now a teacher. How has that journey been?
There is so much always happening in each character, although keeping the main essence of it constantly alive even through all the changes. Ammi has gone through a lot of changes throughout the three seasons but the underlying emotion of her character has always been kept alive. The love for Ammi amongst the viewers cannot go down even while she is evil or the most vulnerable. This is something we try to ensure for all the characters in the show. Hence, it has been a challenging but a very satisfactory journey.
What new is in store for the viewers of Aladdin: Naam Toh Suna Hoga?
The new season of Aladdin: Naam Toh Suna Hoga is extremely interesting and we feel it every moment while performing our scenes. I hope the audiences are having a great time watching it too. The characters have gone through a complete change in this new season but, they are the same people. Also, we have got in a little more humour in the storyline. So, the thrill, emotion, seriousness is all combined with a hint of humour in it. I always believe that Aladdin is one show, on the Indian television, which has emotions, thrill, drama and comedy all together and there’s not one flavor that we are missing. It is a complete package - entertainment at its fullest.
There’s a newness in the story as Aladdin is now a boy who, just like others, is scared of heights and demons and the viewers will be able to relate with him even more. It will be very interesting for them to watch how, despite of all this, Aladdin tries to overcome all the problems.
Have you been doing any special preparations for the role of a teacher?
I am more of a switch on - switch off actor and I haven’t been doing any preparation as such. However, when I was told about this change in my character and all its elements, I was instantly able to relate to it because I have studied in a convent school where teachers were as strict as Rukhsar is. My reference for this role is all my teachers from my school. Rukhsar is a teacher who hits her students with a stick. For today’s kids, it’s something unimaginable but I could relate to it because during our school days, teachers used to give some physical punishments to students on making a mistake.
How is the atmosphere on the set, especially with so many new members?
The entire team of Aladdin is extremely welcoming and we don’t let anyone feel like they are new. No one can feel unwelcomed on the sets of Aladdin: Naam Toh Suna Hoga and that’s what is special about this show. Everyone is very friendly and always there to help each other. We don’t make it uncomfortable for anyone as our aim is to make our co-stars so comfortable that they perform without any awkwardness and eventually, the scene comes out amazingly.
You have been in the industry for more than 20 years now. What are some key changes you have observed in the television industry?
I believe the status of the television industry has got much better now. There are ample facilities and amenities. When I joined the industry, there were no vanity vans or separate make-up rooms. We would all be together in one room, would eat together and rehearse together. Whereas now, actors get their own space and importance is also given to personal life of an actor. Additionally, there is an increase in the work force for each show. Earlier, the director would take all the important calls about the actor’s look or the flow or props but these days, a lot of teams including creatives, art, etc. are involved and everyone has their say.
Do your daughters watch? What do they think?
My daughters have been religiously watching Season 3 of Aladdin: Naam Toh Suna Hoga. My younger daughter feels that I am behaving very strict with the students and asks why I am always angry. Both of my daughters are enjoying season 3 a lot and they absolutely hate to miss any episode. They laugh at correct points and that is a very positive feeling for me too. It makes me feel that what we are trying to communicate through the show is actually happening. We are able to bring that smile on the face of our viewers.
Any message for the viewers?
I would like to thank all our viewers for the love they have given us and the show. We are still putting our 100% and hope to keep you entertained throughout.
My request to the viewers is that please encourage good content. We will eventually give you what you want or watch. If you are watching it, it will be made. If the viewer changes their mindset and preference, the content being shown will change.