'You'll See A Huge Transformation In Me When I Play Naksh In Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai' -  Shehzad Shaikh
(Photo Credits: Shehzad Shaikh's Instagram Account)

While 2018 was an extremely good year for actor Shehzad Shaikh, 2019 will be even great for him, for he has bagged the prized role of Naksh Singhania in Star Plus’ Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai. Actor Rishi Dev, who was playing the part for 2 years now, quit the show in search for greener pastures and Shehzad, who was last seen in Bepannaah as Arjun Hooda, will be stepping into his shoes. This is the third replacement for the character of Naksh, which was earlier played by Rohan Mehra and Rishi Dev respectively. Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai Actor Rishi Dev on His Exit: It Has Been an Amazing Journey

We grilled the Bepannaah actor about all things Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and Bepannaah. And here’s what he has to say.

So firstly, congratulations on bagging Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai. How did that happen?

Well, when it comes to how did the show happen, Bepannaah had just ended but I did not want to lose my momentum and get back to work immediately, because I realized that acting is something that I wanted to do, despite having my hands in 2-3 other professions. So I was aggressively looking out for work and that’s when I got a call from DKP (Directors’ Kut Productions). I had kept in touch with them on and off and was doing look tests for them, but until this moment, things did not materialize.Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai: This Bepannaah Actor to Play the New Naksh in Shivangi Joshi – Mohsin Khan’s Show – View Pics

You will be stepping into a role that not one, but two actors have stepped out of. Any reservations?

Yes, it is a role that two actors have stepped out off. Why they stepped out, what their decisions were, what are their future plans and what led to them leaving the show is something I cannot fathom. However, when it comes to me having any reservations for playing this character, not at all. Because it is up to you, what you do with an opportunity, you can take something that has been done before and do it better. I just want to be able to give my best so that the viewers and people enjoy watching me.

Have you see Yeh Rishta? Also, have you followed the show all this while?

I have been watching the show a little bit so as to be in the loop with the on-going storyline.

While Naksh’s role was as important in the beginning, today the story’s complete focus is on Kartik and Naira, with Naksh and Keerti’s role being a parallel one. Why did you choose yet another parallel lead role after Bepannaah?

And when it comes to this question, it is something that I am totally fine with and if you have noticed my journey so far, I always start off as a parallel character, but by the time we are a few months in, people tend to have noticed and taken my character seriously. I did two shows as parallel leads- Qubool Hai and Bepannaah. And as to why I took up another parallel character, it is because I did not want to lose my momentum that I built up with Bepannaah. And now that I am into it, I want to be there regularly.

As for not being the central character, if anyone watches television, they will also realise that a TV show can never just be about two people. If the rest of the cast is not there, there isn’t much of a story to build or work around. At this point in time, I am fine with playing a parallel role as I know for a fact that my hard work will eventually take me where I need to be. Stories are ever-changing, and to think that you’ll be a parallel for the rest of your life isn’t something that I agree with. When its time for me to be a lead, I will be one.

Speaking of Bepannaah, the decision to end the show came out as very abrupt. Can you walk us through what exactly happened in those last days? And what do you think did not sit well with the viewers?

I am nobody to comment on how the show ended. I’ve always loved and appreciated everything that was in Bepannaah and also learnt so much from it. But as you know, actors are the last people to know if and when a show is shutting. So, the corporate struggle, the back story, all of the other things that you cannot see, that play the most important role in getting the show on-air, and the mathematics and administration, I think they will be able to answer your question better.

As an actor, I was informed that such a thing was going to be happening. And as someone who has been working for quite some time, it did not shock me. As for the viewers, I understand that when they find a show that they fall in love with, they get attached to the routine that comes with it and when the show is all set to shut down, they do get disheartened.

While a full-fledged Arjun and Noor romance was introduced, the storyline (and even Zoya and Aditya’s) was wrapped up very haphazardly.  

Yes, it was a little off, knowing that after Arjun and Noor’s romance getting all pumped up and put into full blow, it was ended the way it did. But like I said, it is the creators, the channel and the makers that come together to make a show and they decide as a team, and I am a team player. Whatever the team says, I’ll believe in them and go with their decisions.

Any preps that you have indulged in, for the role of Naksh? When do you start shooting?

When it comes to preparing for the role of Naksh, I have done a lot of homework and a lot of preparation which includes lots of episodes of Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai. I have been really looking forward to playing the character of Naksh. I am at a place and point in life where I want to do a young mature adult character because most people believe that if you are past 24 you are a grown man. But I don’t think that is the case. If you get out there you’ll see a lot of young adults that are out and about, and that is the kind of character that Naksh is. He is very mature and a gentleman, polished and the perfect man and in order to play that, the current setting is perfect. I’ve also started transforming myself to get into the zone of a family man, which is Naksh. I guarantee you that you will see a huge transformation in the coming few months and then you’ll see Shehzad Shaikh at his best. I believe starting in the next 2-3 days for the show and am looking forward to it.

When we spoke to actor Rishi Dev on him quitting Yeh Rishta, he told us, “It has been a great and awesome experience. Else, I feel like when you work for a certain amount of time regarding your character, it teaches you a lot. But yes, even if you want to grow further, you need to take steps to proceed ahead with due respect to the work that you’ve already done.”

We wish both Rishi and Shehzad all the very best for their future ventures.