India's most popular bahu is back!
After a break of over eight months, Smriti Irani will return to Star Plus' hit show, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, and reprise her Tulsi role that made her the star she is today.
It was at the Balaji Global Indian Television Awards held a few months ago where Balaji chief Ekta Kapoor and Smriti decided to patch up, after the latter left the show.
Ekta Kapoor talks to us about Smriti's return.
Why did Smriti leave the show?
She left because she was busy producing her own serials.
If I don't like a person, I always speak out. I am not a person, who will mince words. I never said anything bad about Smriti nor did she speak against me. We met at the Global Awards event and she made a sweet gesture by talking to me and being a part of the event.
Did you bring back Smriti to increase your TRPs?
Kyunki... was the number one show on television, and it still remains so. I don't expect her to come back for TRPs. It is purely a personal relationship more than anything else.
What will happen to Gautami Kapoor, who is currently playing Tulsi?
It is very difficult for an actor to replace another actor, who has already created an image. Gautami is a brilliant actress and she has done a superb job for almost a year. You will see a twist in the story, which will justify both Smriti and Gautami being in the show. Who knows, maybe next month I will come out with big announcement for Gautami.
Why did you take so long to announce her return when you had already decided to bring her back?
There is a right time for everything. After the Global Awards, I was getting threatening calls from Mandloi (Star Plus' senior creative director Anupama Mandloi) to bring Smriti back on the show. I thought about it, discussed with everyone including Gautami, and finally decided to bring her back.
Why have you brought her back as Tulsi? Why not bring her in a new show?
Smriti was young and wearing jeans when I first saw her eight years ago. I didn't audition her but told her that she will be Kyunki's Tulsi. I had that much confidence in her. Our success goes hand in hand. She has become an iconic bahu in these eight years. Viewers have a set image of Smriti as Tulsi, which is very strong.
Gautami has done a wonderful job by playing the mantle for eight months. Viewers even got adjusted to seeing her as Tulsi. I got mixed reactions for Gautami and Smriti. But viewers still recognise Smriti as Tulsi and so they will not have any problem in accepting Smriti. That's why I have brought her back.