They are a relatively new couple on TV but the audience seems to have lapped up their journey from being best friends to man-and-wife. Here’s a candid chat with Shakti Arora a.k.a Ranveer and Radhika Madan (or Ishani) from Meri Aashiqui Tumse Hi.
What makes your onscreen chemistry a hit?
Radhika: We’re very comfortable with each other off screen. We tease each other about everything from how we deliver dialogues, stand, sit! So on screen, we don’t have to try hard at all. It all comes very naturally. Sometimes we make up our own dialogues in between shots and forget about the script. So I guess there’s something that clicks.
Shakti: Our off screen bond, our growing friendship results in great chemistry on screen.
Tell us something about each other that the audience does not know.
R: Shakti is a tarot card reader, which is pretty interesting.
S: Radhika actually has a ‘dhai kilo ka haath’! Some times, I feel I might just get hurt!
Now tell us something about yourself that fans don’t know?
R: I am a professional dancer. I had actually enrolled in a dance company in New York for a year’s course and was about to leave for it in July 2014. My tickets were ready, the fees were paid. Just 15 days before I was to leave for New York, I was offered MATSH and I had to cancel everything at the last moment. Also, before this show, I hardly used to cry. Maybe once in five years or something and people used to accuse me of being heartless and inexpressive. Now when they see me crying almost every day in the show it takes them a lot of time to accept that it’s me.
S: That I am a confident person.
Who among you cracks jokes in between scenes?
R: Shakti, all the time.
S:Yes, hands down, me!
What quality do you admire in each other and what would you like to change?
R: Shakti is very serious when it comes to work. Very professional. But sometimes he gets way too serious about his work and starts living his character in the show and becomes the same person offscreen as well. That’s something that scares me.
S: Radhika is always confident and if she is sure about things, then she is super-confident! I would not like to change anything about her, but some times, she has mood swings.
Tell us about any funny incident that cropped up while you were filming a romantic scene...
R: In all the romantic scenes, we just keep laughing! And just because we’re so close to each other and are directed to look at each other we forget about the romance and comment on each other’s faces instead — be it a pimple or some mark or something about our hair or clothes.
S: Whenever there is an emotional scene in which she is supposed to cry, the first drop falls from her nose and then the eyes so we all have a quick laugh before we get back to the scene.
Your favourite things to do during breaks on set?
R: Read a book or catch up with my friends on phone.
S: I work out.
Do you have any nickname for each other, or by which people refer to you?
R: Ah I have many! Chote, totta, ladki, Ishu. Nobody calls me by my real name. And I also never call anyone by their real name. I call Ravjeet “Chirkut”, Shakti “Hero” or Ladke”. I have a name for everyone.
S: I call her Sunny, Radhee and “Pehelwan”.
What’s the most interesting comment you have got from fans?
R: All my male friends have received some pretty interesting “threats” and “warnings” from my fans to stay away from me!
S: Of late, people have been complimenting me on my acting skills and someone said I should be a Bollywood actor.
Tell us about your favourite scene from the show so far.
R: I guess the scene in which I’m shown to be inebriated would be my favourite. I finally got to bring more of Radhika to Ishani. I no longer had to be this introverted girl, or only cry. I just had to have fun and be my real self... Another scene I’ll never forget was the one in which Ranveer is shot and he falls into the pool while holding my gaze. I was shivering for 10 minutes after that, I couldn’t stop crying... Shakti had to come up to me and make me realise that it’s just a scene and he’s alive. Of course then he cracked some stupid joke which brought a smile to my face and got me out of that zone.
S: Before the leap, I had to do an emotional scene where I break down completely and I was surprised that I actually managed that in one shot and it has turned out to be one of my best shots so far. This was the first time ever I cried on TV and that’s when the team thought I could do emotional scenes well and after that I’ve been expressing on screen a whole lot more.