When there was a whiff of Nakuul Mehta stepping into the role of Ram for ‘Bade Achhe Lagte Hai 2’, helmed once again by Ekta Kapoor, the excitement about the possibility was high. Now that the promos of the show have been released and, with it being just days away from starting on Sony TV, anticipation is untold. Mehta will be seen playing the role of Ram, a well-to-do and wealthy businessman, who was played in the original 2011 show by Ram Kapoor.
BizAsia caught up with the actor ahead of the show’s premiere.
‘Bade Achhe Lagte Hai’ was such an iconic show a decade ago. How do you feel being a part of its reboot & what made you say yes to playing Ram?
Yeh, Bade Achhe Lagte Hai was an iconic show and probably, in the romantic genre of mature love stories, it was the most talked about show in the last couple of decades. I feel it’s great. It’s a wonderful brand to take forward. To be honest, in the last couple of years, this was probably the first thing I instinctively wanted to explore. When they reached out to me and I heard about it, I instinctively thought it’d be a challenge I would look forward to – that was the first thing. Secondly, I have been looking at working with Ekta for a while. I think she is the go-to creator on TV and has created some wonderful shows. I thought that having a chance to work alongside her would also give me a peek into her sense of storytelling, the way she builds characters and it would give me a lot of insight into my own work. Secretly I always look at that with the people I create with. I have been very fortunate that I have been able to collaborate with all women in television. My first show was produced by Kavita Barjatya, the second by Gul Khan and now Ekta so it’s quite wonderful. The third reason is that I’ve really missed my audience on television – the high of being able to receive feedback everyday, the high of the viewers being able to embrace your character and really live with it. That’s something that can only happen with television because, on a web show, they like it, love it and then they move on to the next one. The three of these factors made me say yes to playing Ram.
You’re reuniting with Disha Parmar after seven years & you both look fantastic together in the promos. What would you say is the biggest challenge of presenting your well-known pairing with the newness of ‘Bade Achhe Lagte Hai 2’?
Yes, it’s been nearly seven years since I last worked with Disha and, to be honest, there isn’t any challenge. There’s only comfort. The comfort of knowing each other, of having friendship. The comfort of knowing how one another function. While a lot has changed, both of us have professionally grown and also personally which is only logical, I think what’s remained the same is work ethic and the lame jokes I would crack and the cribbing she would do. That hasn’t changed a bit. (laughs) Would there be a challenge in this pairing? I don’t think so because the characters are so different and, it’s been so long, and it’s a great time to bring two people together again because you’re playing completely opposite characters, there’s been a fair amount of time and you’ve hopefully evolved. I feel it’s a win-win.
Every actor brings something different to a given character they play. Ram Kapoor as Ram was & is hugely popular & there will undoubtedly be comparisons. What does Nakuul’s version of the character have that you feel may still resonate?
So I remember watching Bade Achhe Lagte Hai as the audience back in 2011, before I got busy with my TV journey in 2012. Ram and Sakshi brought so much gravitas, life and beauty to the roles of Ram and Priya – easily my most favourite actors in TV. However, I see it as a fresh role for me because, now, I’m seeing it as an artiste. It’s very different from an audience perspective. And, also, contextually, it’s been a decade. It’s a different world. Post Covid, it’s definitely a different world. I will bring my own learnings, life, understandings of the traits. There’s no rule book to go by and I’ll paint it with my imagination.
You’re returning to TV after a couple of years, having done some interesting stuff in between. How does it feel?
I feel wonderful to come back to television but I don’t know if “coming back” is the right word because I do this often between two shows. I usually take a long enough break where I go out and dabble in things I love, learn, feed my curiosity… hopefully become a better actor. So, it feels great to be back although I’m not used to this level of hustle anymore after the last year and a half of being indoors. That is different for me now.
In ‘Bade Achhe Lagte Hai 2’ promos, & generally as Ram, you’ll undoubtedly mostly be suited up, similarly to Shivaay in ‘Ishqbaaaz’. Do you ever wish you were offered a “jeans & t-shirt” type of role?
Hey, I love suits! So, no, I don’t want t-shirts and jeans! You give me a suit any day of the year, I would wear it. Although I did Never Kiss Your Best Friend last year and Sumer was a very “sweatshirt and jeans” kind of a guy. But I love suits so we’re not complaining.
You’ve become a father and, as a number of actors often say, being part of a daily show can be trying routine-wise. How are you balancing your new reel & real roles?
Yes! It’s probably one of the greatest roles I’ll ever play in my life and the most satisfying one. To be really honest, I am struggling to balance right now because it’s literally my 10th day today. My show launches in two days which means we’re hitting the ground running. There is no time to balance and I am spending all my time at work right now. Because this baby needs me and hopefully my baby will understand. In a couple of months, hopefully we’ll find some semblance of balance in life. But, right now, balance is very hard. I would be lying if I said I knew how to balance.
BizAsiaLive.com thanks Nakuul Mehta for taking the time to talk to us. ‘Bade Achhe Lagte Hai 2’ begins on Monday 30th August at 8pm on Sony TV.