Rajshree Thakur on breaking sterotypes and the evolution of the television industry 

The actress is currently seen in Apnapan-Badalte Rishton Ka Bandhan opposite Cezanne Khan

author_img Priyanka Chandani Published :  20th June 2022 11:21 AM   |   Published :   |  20th June 2022 11:21 AM
Rajshree Thakur

Rajshree Thakur

In 2005 when television actress Rajshree Thakur made her debut with Saat Phere: Saloni Ka Safar opposite Sharad Kelkar, she redefined the idea of beauty on screen. The dark-complexioned actress not only played the protagonist in the show but also won several awards for her performance. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that she dared to essay some of the most unconventional roles. After the success of Saat Phere, Rajshree went on to feature in serials like Maharana Pratap, Bidaai and most recently Shaadi Mubarak where she played the lead role. The actress made an early exit from the show owing to her domestic responsibilities to her daughter. But now, she is all set to be back with her upcoming show Apnapan-Badalte Rishton Ka Bandhan. The show revolves around the husband-wife relationship and how it affects the children. The actress will be seen opposite Cezanne Khan of Kasautii Zindagi Kay fame. Rajshree talks to Indulge about her role in the new show, playing unconventional roles, breaking the beauty stereotypes, motherhood and more.

Tell us about your role in the show and your camaraderie with Cezanne Khan.
It’s a different role and the story is very interesting. I am playing a single working mother who is so strong-headed and knows her strengths. She is protective of her kids but has set healthy boundaries for them. And working with Cezanne is good so far. He is an experienced actor and our characters have many similarities.

You have been working with many of your contemporaries and new actors as well. Does it make a difference when it comes to your performance?
It’s always fun to work with your contemporaries. They come with experience and there is a rapport. On the other hand, new actors come with a lot of enthusiasm for their work. There is a lot to learn from them. For instance, I learn a lot about Instagram. I am not really social media friendly and I learn about it from them. At their age, they are so focused and hard working. When I started my career in my twenties I was just doing my job and wasn’t enthusiastic about the young actors today. It is very inspiring and there is a lot to learn from them.

How has the television industry evolved over the years?
It has changed a lot. TV has become more disciplined but I think, the content-wise television industry has a lot to improve. The stories are almost the same since I did my first show Saat Phere. I feel there is a lot to improve on stories and characters. There is a lot of repetition in terms of stories. On the other hand, we see OTT experimenting with characters and different stories. They are exploring many new things. TV is not trying to explore much.  

Would you be interested in doing an OTT project?
Of course! This is the best time for actors as there are many opportunities with roles and platforms. There is so much to do. This is the golden period for any actor. I do want to work on the OTT series because medium never mattered to me. Whatever satisfies me as an actor I am open to doing that regardless of the platform.

Growing up in a notoriously ageist industry can be tough for many actresses. Does that create pressure on you?
I have never followed any norms. I was never competing or running after anything. I think being myself and I feel that has helped me a lot. I have concentrated on my work more than my looks. Your personality and individuality help you to go ahead. And I will be the same. I believe in ageing gracefully.  

You broke the conventional idea of fair skinned heroine. Do you think that we have come a long way to accept beauty in different forms and colours?
I won’t say it was easy initially for me but now I see we have come a long way. It was difficult to enter the industry with dark completion because there was a fixed image of heroine that she has to have fair skin and a certain body type. We have come a long way but there is a lot to improve. For me, I was fortunate to get lead roles and played the queen in Maharana Pratap with my complexion and people appreciated it. It has changed and I would like to remind everyone that we have Shabana Azmi, Dipti Naval and Smita Patil who are far from those typical Hindi film heroines but they are legends. They made their mark with their work. I think there is a lot of confusion with makers. Some makers do see things beyond superficial bounds.

How's motherhod been for you?
I think I have bifurcated my responsibilities. When I am with my daughter I am completely there so she understands when I am not there. She is too young but she can understand when I am not around. When I wasn’t working I was devoting my complete time to my daughter and family and now when I am back on set, I try to stay in touch with my daughter as much as I can.

Apnapan-Badalte Rishton Ka Bandhan streaming on Sony