In 1996, the United Nations General Assembly declared 21st November as World Television Day. Much of the political/social information, general knowledge, entertainment comes to the common public through that innocuous appliance on the wall.
On one hand, television brings home the world; and on the other, it takes the audience into a fantasy world of fiction. As far as entertainment goes, Indians love their dose of entertainment through their daily soaps, indeed, the characters on screen are a part of the household chatter. Television actors are recognised and loved almost as personal friends.
The industry is considered as the source of some exceptional talent in the entertainment world. One of the most famous, admired actors in the world today, Shah Rukh Khan made his debut in a television serial. R Madhavan, Vidya Balan, Irrfan Khan, Sushant Singh Rajput, Ayushmann Khurrana are some of the actors who made a successful transition from television to Bollywood.
On the occasion of World Television Day, here are a few popular, loved television actors in prominent film roles this year.
Mouni Roy who debuted in Ekta Kapoor’s iconic show ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ has had a successful track record of TV shows; ‘Devon Ke Dev…Mahadev’, and ‘Nagin’ being extremely successful shows. A household name, she made a gradual shift to films thereafter. She made her film debut with a successful lead role in Gold with Akshay Kumar. This year she starred in the critically acclaimed role of the main antagonist Junoon in ‘Brahmastra’.
Shantanu Maheshwari is an actor, dancer, choreographer and host. He debuted with the show ‘Dil Dosti’ Dance on Channel V in his performance as the protagonist Swayam Shekhawat. He went on to play an aspiring musician Sahir Bhasin in MTV India’s ‘Girls On Top’. He has also participated in several dance competitions around the world. He made his much talked about debut in the movies with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’, where he starred opposite Alia Bhatt.
Mrunal began her acting career with TV shows like ‘Mujhse Kuchh Kehti…Yeh Khamoshiyaan’ and ‘Kumkum Bhagya’. She made her Hindi film debut in 2018 with Love Sonia, where she starred as a young girl who gets trapped in the sex trade. She garnered a lot of rave reviews for her performance. She has since acted in popular, critically acclaimed movies like Super 30 with Hrithik Roshan and Jersey with Shahid Kapoor. She also acts extensively in South Indian films; her latest hit being the Telegu film Sita Raman opposite Dulquer Salman.
After dabbling in the daily soap circuit for a few years, Maniesh got his break as host and presenter in Saa Ree Gaa Maa Paa Chhote Ustaad. He went on to host many successful shows like ‘Indian Idol’, ‘Jhalak Dikhla Jaa’ and recently Smart Jodi. He made an appearance in a cameo in the movie Tees Maar Khan, after which he played the lead role of a computer geek in the movie ‘Mickey Virus’. Recently, he was seen in one of the hits of the year, Karan Johar’s production, ‘Jugjugg Jeeyo’.
There are many more such TV actors on the horizon. According to news reports, Laksh Lalwani, popular TV actor is all set to make his Bollywood debut soon. Furthermore, TV stars Arjun Bijlani, Shraddha Arya, Sriti Jha, Arijit Taneja have been roped in to do cameo appearances in Karan Johar’s ‘Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani’.
It is heartening to see this acknowledgement and exchange of talent. When in a darkened theatre, in the midst of an intense confrontation scene with SRK, one hears a whisper ‘ This is Mouni, apni Mouni”, the familiarity and the affection says it all. Kudos to the Indian television industry!
By Tejusvini Varadachari