After Anupamaa actors Nidhi Shah and Aashish Mehrotra laughed off fellow actor Paras Bhushan Kalnawat’s claims that ‘80% of the cast would want to exit if given an opportunity’ in an interview with HT City, the latter has decided to come out and set the record straight.
“I wrote about having a bad experience on the set of Anupamaa, because of which I left the show. So, there was no need for them to comment on what I think and what I feel,” Kalnawat exclusively tells us.
Stating that he contacted both his fellow actor after reading their interviews, the actor adds, “I told them how they have back stabbed me. And now if you go and ask them the same question (about my statement), their answers will differ [from what they originally said]. That’s because I sent them proofs for my claims – screenshots of message I have from people working in the show, who are not happy and want to leave due to the chaotic environment, but are staying back because of their responsibilities. They had nothing to say about it after that – they know my complaints are genuine.”
Ask Kalnawat, who quit Anupamaa last year, to elaborate on what he means buy “chaotic environment” on the sets of the TV show, and he says thinking about all that bothers him till date.
“There used to be literal fights between actors with them screaming at one another. And everyone, including me, would get dragged into it,” he recounts, adding, “It was an ugly rat race and ego clash where no actor could see others doing better than them. Instead of supporting each other, they were pulling the other person down. You won’t even see a 16-year-old fighting over topics they used to fight about.”
The actor goes on to say that he personally became the target of many such fights: “It’s been a year, so I don’t even want to talk in detail about things they did against me. But, after our shots, I used to be in my room, and didn’t feel like stepping out unless I had a scene because of the all the chaos outside. This made life so difficult that I decided to choose reality show Jhalak Dikhla Jaa over Anupamaa when a choice was given.”
At this point, the actor stresses that he would have never spoken all this about the unhealthy environment on sets of Anupamaa, but, “I had to when I read the lies Aashish and Nidhi have spoken in the interviews they gave and called my claims funny”.
Kanlawat reveals that both the actors have apologised to him. “But, talking about me in public and apologising in private is not the solution. Aashish said he wasn’t trying to speak against me but in favour of the show, while Nidhi said that she’d make up for it,” says the actor, adding that both his co-stars are in fact the first ones to get affected because of the show’s environment, but he is hesitant to divulge details.
As for the present situation on the sets of Anupamaa, the actor says it’s still pretty much the same. “I meet a few people who are part of the show and they tell me how nothing has changed. If you could find someone who would actually speak the truth about the show, you will get a clearer picture. But right now, they will only speak what they want to speak and please others.”
Perhaps that’s why Kalnawat posted on Instagram a while ago calling out people for not having guts and just wanting to stay in good books.
“But I am not like them. I will always speak the truth,” he argues, “And to everyone who feels that I’m not happy and hence complaining, I want to say that I’m working with the best makers and the best teams, and I’m in a very peaceful place.”
Before concluding, while the actor clarifies that no statement of his was ever directed at the makers of the show and they had nothing to do with all the toxicity, he is quick to mention a grudge he’ll always have: “When I needed them to take an action, they did not. I wanted them to take my side for something which was actually true and for which I had proof. They didn’t think I was important enough and didn’t take a stand for me,” he ends.
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