“It Is Easy To Make People Emotional, But It Isn’t Easy To Make Them Laugh”, Says New Anita Bhabi, Aka Vidisha Srivastava
Actor Vidisha Srivastava recently entered &TV’s cult comedy show Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai as the new Anita Bhabi. While the industry is abuzz with her entry, we spoke to her about stepping into the shoes of Anita Bhabi, behind the scenes fun, her first encounter with the comedy genre and more. Excerpts from the interview:
How does it feel to be the new Anita Bhabi? What was your first reaction when you were selected for the role?
Anita Bhabi is an iconic character who enjoys massive popularity and fan following. I feel elated and honoured to be given this opportunity. When I got selected, my first reaction was, ‘Oh my gosh! Is this really happening!’. I was ecstatic. I have always enjoyed watching the show for its entertaining characters and humorous plots. I had never imagined that I would be a part of it as one of its lead characters one day. I am thrilled to take on this huge mandate and, most importantly, share the screen with the accomplished and talented actors Aasif Sheikh, Rohitashv Gouri, and Shubhangi Atre. I am grateful to Sanjay and Binaiferr Kohli Ji for believing in my abilities and giving me this wonderful opportunity. I feel truly blessed. Everyone around me, especially my friends and family, has been on top of the moon ever since they knew this.
My family is an ardent fan of Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai, and they watch the show regularly. So, when I was approached for the Anita Bhabi role, my entire family got super excited. None of us had imagined that an opportunity to essay Anita Bhabi’s role would come my way one day. Even during the auditions, my family was eager to know how it went and if I got selected. And when I broke the news to them, they couldn’t contain their happiness. It was like a mini celebration at home.
What are the similarities and dissimilarities between Vidisha and Anita Bhabi?
There are only similarities. Anita Bhabi is contemporary and ‘today’s a woman’. Her personality is quite strong and stands out, one of the most important aspects of her character. She has a mind of her own and is quite bold. She stands up for what she believes in and never gets bogged down easily. And I am somewhat like this in real life. So, when I was chosen for the role, I could relate to her and fit in easily.
Who is your favourite character other than Anita Bhabi from the show, and why?
While each character is quite entertaining and has its unique traits, Vibuti Narayan Mishra is my favourite. It is played by my favourite actor – the very talented and accomplished actor, Aasif Sheikh Ji. Secondly, the role offers variety and has many characters within a single role. It is just not easy to carry them so beautifully and at ease. I have thoroughly enjoyed each of these fun characters. His comic timing is so perfect. Hats off to him. And now, I am blessed to get an opportunity to work closely with him. There is so much to learn from him.
You’ve started shooting recently. Tell us about your first day at the shoot and about the behind-the-scenes fun that happens on the set of Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai
It’s just been a few weeks since I started shooting for the show, but it seems like I already know them all and have a special connection. I was a bit nervous on my first day, but everyone made me feel very comfortable, especially Rohitashv Ji, with whom I shot the very first scene. He is not just an amazing co-star but an extremely humble person. Let me tell you a secret: all the artists in this show are so much into the characters that they don’t miss a single chance to make you laugh. We keep cracking jokes and pulling each other’s legs, which helps us stay happy and energetic and give our best for each shot. While shooting for a dance sequence during our Holi track, TMT (Tika, Malkhan, and Tillu) suddenly started singing the song in their unique style, and everyone on the sets was in splits. It is fun to be surrounded by such happy and fun-loving people.
The comedy genre is new to you. How easy or difficult it has been to adapt to it? What are the other genres you like or would like to explore?
As an actor, I believe you will stagnate if you don’t accept new challenges, learn, and evolve. I always look forward to exploring new genres, especially comedy. I have been part of the fantasy, mythological, historical, and romantic dramas. But this time, I was mentally prepared to explore a comedy genre, which pushed me to get out of my comfort zone. I must say, comedy is the most difficult genre. It is easy to make people emotional, but it isn’t easy to make them laugh. Many nuances like expression, comic timing, and body language come into play to make people laugh, and one must work extremely hard to get that right.
Anita Bhabi has a lot of grace and style and wears stylish sarees. Does Vidisha, too, like Sarees? What is your style quotient? What kind of clothes, makeup, and accessories do you prefer?
Anita Bhabi has an oomph factor. She is quite graceful and stylish. She knows how to slay on screen with her classy and elegant look. My style statement is similar to hers, simple, elegant and graceful. But I prefer comfortable clothing, with limited accessories. I am a no-makeup person, and whenever I have to get ready for any occasion, I do subtle makeup and keep my hair open to make me look sassy. I always choose the dress that gives me comfort, with limited accessories. Like Anita, I also love wearing sarees with stylish blouses, but at the same time, I am also a woman who is in unconditional love with her jeans. I will never give up on my favourite pair of jeans, which go with any stylish top, heels, and accessories.
Watch Vidisha Srivastava as new Anita Bhabi in &TV’s Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai, airing every Monday to Friday at 10:30 pm