EXCLUSIVE: 1 Year of Ishqbaaz: Nakuul Mehta-Surbhi Chandna aka Shivaay-Anika get into a heart-to-heart conversation like never before

Nakuul Mehta and Surbhi Chandna get candid on the occasion of the show's one year anniversary.
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Last year in June, Ishqbaaz kicked off as a yet another stereotypical love story of an arrogant man, Shivaay Singh Oberoi [Nakuul Mehta], who has a change of heart after falling in love with a simple woman, Anika [Surbhi Chandna]. However, this ordinary tale turned out to be somewhat extraordinary as the story progressed. Instead of turning Anika into a damsel in distress, here was a woman who was as fierce as any man, whose confidence was her biggest asset and who took proud in being a self-made woman that she was and continues to be. While it is expected that the guy would fall for the girl’s simplicity eventually, what really made this show stand out is how the story was weaved organically.
 
Ishqbaaz recently turned one, so we spoke to the lead actors Surbhi Chandna and Nakuul Mehta for a quick chat wherein they shared their fondest memories from the show, their offscreen camaraderie with the team and each other and much more. 
 
First thing first. How does this feel? While both Surbhi and Nakuul couldn’t contain their excitement, they both agreed that the immense love they have been showered with is overwhelming. Remembering her year-long waiting period before the show actually commenced, Surbhi said, “Of course, I feel great yaar. But in my case, we also need to count the year-long period before the show commenced. It tested my patience. We had basically shot like a pilot, then began the waiting period of 6 months, for half the cast- half of which is retained and half who are not around- it was difficult but now when I look back, I think I have forgotten those days. So, the show will always remain close to my heart, it is like a baby, who is no longer a diaper wearing baby. It is amazing."
 
Nakuul agreed with Surbhi and said, “I feel reassured and ecstatic at the same time. Reassured because, in today’s time, the probability of success for any TV shows is as hard as the movies. Gone are the days when the television shows used to run for 50 years, shows now run for a year or two. Today the turnover rate of shows has become very high and in that sort of environment for a show to not only survive but thrive, for its character to reach out and get the kind of response it does, is very reassuring." 
 
He further added, “I feel ecstatic because when I started the show I obviously thought this is the right show to do but never did I imagine the kind of response it has generated from people which is great, to be honest. So, I am ecstatic because we have been able to garner such response and have an impact on the life of so many people, which is beautiful.”
 
 
Given that Shivaay and Anika have become household names now, we wanted to know how much did Nakuul and Surbhi relate to their characters in real life. 
 
Responding to this, Surbhi said, “I can totally see Surbhi Chandna in Anika. But that does not mean she is exactly like me because there are so many struggles of Anika as a character. She is such a layered character-- she knows she has the "tadi", she knows how to behave with her in-laws, she has this constant fights with SSO but then she cares for him to the extent of sacrificing her life for him and she has a different emotion for her brother.”
 
 
Decoding Anika for us, Surbhi continued, “She [Anika] has always been so independent, stood by her values, not all of this is relatable to Surbhi but when I do some fun scenes with Rudra or SSO, I add my flavour to her. However I would not want anything to change in her because honestly, she is such a beautifully written character, that is why it has now become a household name. People kinda relate to her. I think I am really blessed to be playing Anika. I never thought I would receive this sea of love that we will actually go mad. That’s why I said that it feels like I am on the top of the world because more than us, the fans are so excited.”
 
Nakuul, on the other hand, laughed when asked about relating to Shivaay's character. “Not at all... I have a lot of issues with the way my character behaves or at least used to behave. I had multiple discussions with my producers about it. It is someone who is not close to me at all. But I think that as an actor, it shouldn't matter if the person is you or far away from you because it is your job to play someone you’re not. So, that makes it much more interesting. Shivaay is someone I don't even know and it is definitely not me, so to find him within yourself is the real challenge and that is what really excites me about this role.”
 
 
At this point, we couldn’t help but ask the most important question- How do they manage to bring out such crackling chemistry on screen?
 
Both Nakuul and Surbhi tried to be quite modest about it, giving full marks to their team for being able to extract such amazing chemistry on screen. 
 
“I must tell, as Surbhi, I am a huge fan of Shivaay and Anika as well, very honestly,” Surbhi said. “When I read the script, I can feel every emotion. Everybody says that we have this great chemistry, we always maintain this one stance that we are very good actors but actually, it is a team effort.”
 
While Nakuul said, “To be honest, I don’t think I should take much credit for this, you must give credit to the person who is cast opposite you, for them to be capable actors to sort of make this chemistry work. Having said that, in fact, with both my co-stars [Disha Parmar- Pyaar Ka Dard Hai and Surbhi], our first six months, we were sort of very professional with work, I don't think we even hung out or exchanged numbers really. Also, that is the kind of person I am, when I start anything new, I want to be in my own zone, focused. Hence small talk doesn’t happen with me at least but I think I found a comfort zone with both eventually when you work so much. Now, of course, it is like a house on fire with both, we really get along. Also, TV is a writer’s medium, I mean if not on the paper, it is extremely hard for even good actors to extract chemistry. Hence, I think full marks to them.”
 
 
Lauding Nakuul for being a fantastic co-star, Surbhi said, “He is so easy to work with. Initially, of course, I had little qualms but now I feel I am very lucky to be working with a person like him. He is so kind and warm. He knows how to be ‘gentleman-ish' and takes care of me so I think he makes me so comfortable and that reflects on screen.”  
 
Did Nakuul too had any apprehensions about working with Surbhi initially? His answer was a big NO. 
 
“I got into it immediately. I did not know her, hadn't seen her work, but I am always excited to work with new people because you are expecting fresh energy. You get new reactions from different people which I love,” he said. “But obviously it takes little time for a person I am, who is very focused at my job. I am not someone who hangs around and sort of chit chats, so it does take time [to befriend anyone] but to be honest to do your job well, it doesn’t matter if you got along like a house on fire or you are professional about it because eventually it is your talent which you bring to the table and I think Surbhi will bring equal amount of talent in sort of commitment to the job, your characters will work, your scenes will work . So I had no qualms, I came with a blend state, no idea what to expect. But when I first started shooting with her I definitely felt she is a good actress which was reassuring and I think with time we found a comfort zone and we started trusting each other as actors and also as co-stars and it naturally kind of goes into a friendship.” 
 
We quite loved their honesty here!
 
How well do they get along with the other team members?
 
“Amazing,” said the duo. 
 
“It is amazing. [Leenesh] Mattoo, Nakuul and I have waited for the show to commence for a year, although at that time I was not very close to Nakuul. However, Mattoo and I have been with each other for that one year waiting period. We used to keep texting, asking when will the show commence. Kunal joined in later because there was somebody else as Omkara at that time. We all have a lot of fun, we party, eat lunch together. This set has totally amazing vibes. I am not a morning person usually but every day I look forward to going to sets and working. It is like family, I am 4 Lions daughter, said Surbhi.
 
While Nakuul said, “Wonderful. You know so, I shot with the boys the most initially. However, with Leenesh, I have also shot the pilot so which is two years back, so he kind of looks up to me like an elder brother and he calls me Bhaiya and I feel protective towards him. Kunal came in later and we hung out so much. So the brothers kind of have a fantastic bond and we love doing scenes together which I never had the opportunity in the earlier show. Also, we have some fantastic senior actors, so great time yaar. All of us hang out together for lunch, it is very very comfortable on sets. There is no apprehension about giving a suggestion, the comfort level is exactly what it needs to be,” he concluded.
 
 
With such an impeccable cast and positivity around, no wonder Ishqbaaz is one of the most popular shows on TV today. 
 
All the best to the team!
 

Credits :Pinkvilla

Comments

Thank you sooooòooooooooooooooo much for the interview......shivika forever favourites

Thank you so ok much for giving in review we love surbhi as Anita give more interview like this thank u sooooomuch

Hii shivika you are my favorite Jodi and thank you for interview

Thank you for your interview and you are my most favorite Jodi

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