Somehow, I got thinking about this today. Most of this write-up is just me thinking aloud. Forgive me if you differ.
Acting in TV serials looks like it has a lot of pluses. A lot more actors, than is possible in movies, get a chance to display their talent. The actors get a daily or weekly screen presence, depending on the show or the role played. It’s also opened vistas for actors to be versatile in some cases.
Seen a lot these days, is that a character is made immensely popular and relatable to the masses – much more than a movie character, which remains larger than life.
But is it all good?
I feel one of the drawbacks of this is that the character is glorified – but the actor playing it is probably somewhere closeted.
One remembers Parvati, Gopi Bahu, Kokila Ben, Sujal, Suhana, Mihir, …
But till these people were made to appear as themselves in other shows or other mediums – to the masses, they were the characters they played.
It looks good – for some time. However, an actor is greater than the character – they are the players. Yet, in these cases, the actor becomes limited and saturated by the character.
The TV show makers, in order to publicize their show and make the characters relatable to the janta – popularize the character. The person is known by the name of the character they play onscreen.
Usually the names of the actors do not even appear in credits of daily soaps. You get the directors, the writers, the singers, the production houses – but rarely you get the actor names.
Thereafter, whenever you see Gia Manek, you think Gopi Bahu.
Unless one reads an interview or sees them perform elsewhere, one rarely knows Gopi is played by Gia.
These days, via internet, the actors are made popular. However, internet isn’t that prevalent in the smaller cities or villages. Out there, Gopi Bahu is Gopi Bahu.
Do they lose their identity as an actor in trying to make an identity for the character?
Is this why a lot of them drop out of their successful innings at will and choose to do something totally different that reverses the ‘image’ they’re stuck with? It made them popular, but to be doing it for the rest of their career has got to be stifling – to the career, to the talent, and to the person.
Is that why we see them doing reality shows? Where the real person shows up with their own name? Where details about the real person are made known?
Sometimes it is said that a character made the actor popular. I think I differ on that. The character may have been great – but yet, it is a character. The actor is a person, a real living person, with a real life, and real needs. Any person, any artist seeks appreciation – appreciation to the character they play is great; but the person does need to be applauded.
If the actor – along with the story writers, the directors, the so many people who make the character real – didn’t work for it, the character would be just that – a character, some words on a bit of paper.
A character – a product of creativity – should never be allowed to stifle creativity.