Playing the role of a no-nonsense employee in Hotstar's The Office, Gauhar Khan says she's bossy
MODEL-TURNED-ACTOR and entrepreneur Gauhar Khan is known for winning Big Boss 7 back in 2013. Subsequently, the Mumbai-based actress also made her mark in Bollywood with films like Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya, Begum Jaan, and Ishaqzaade, among others. Now she is back in the spotlight as a strict taskmaster in Hotstar’s latest web series The Office, the Indian adaptation of the famed UK and US series. The owner of Gauherageous, an online clothing brand, she talks to Indulge about her character Riya, about being bossy and why her employees are scared of her. Excerpts:
Tell us about your character Riya in the series.
Riya Pahwa is the representative of the head office at Wilkins Chawla in Faridabad. She is from Delhi and is a very enterprising woman. Though it’s a comedy series, her character is very different from the other casts. She doesn’t believe in the kind of funny antiques that Chaddha (the office manager played by Mukul Chadda) is always up to. She is not at all amused by his jokes. She is a bit tough and you can say she is khadoos (grouchy). However, she is that way for a reason. She holds an important position in the office and she needs to be serious.
How much do you identify with the character?
In many ways, I am Riya. Just like her, I am strong and I have an opinion of my own and I don’t get easily intimidated by the male species. But also I would like to point out that I am not as khadoos as Riya.
Have you watched the original, The Office?
No. I have neither watched the UK nor the US version. In fact, I did not watch it even after knowing that it was the adaptation of the original hit series in the UK and US. I didn’t want a reference point to my character. I wanted to take the character in the way the director wanted me to play it and the way it was demanded to be in an Indian office environment.
Which is your favourite character from the series?
It’s hard to pick one favourite character in our show because everybody is so amazing. Mukul Chadda is the best as Chaddha, and also I love TP Mishra’s character played by Gopal Dutt. He is hilarious and crazy.
Have you ever worked in an office set up like Wilkins Chawla’s?
No, I have never been into a nine-to-five job. Though in my teens in Pune I did many odd jobs but never in an office set up like this. Now that I have my own office, Gauhargeous, and I am the boss and though I cannot relate to the problem of the people who are into that kind of job, I know what the issues could be, so I handle them accordingly.