Mumbai, Aug 5: The Rs.370 billion (about $6.05 bn) Indian television industry offers a plethora of opportunities to every talent and allows each to nurture its skills, says Javed Jaffrey, who associated himself with the small screen through "Boogie Woogie", one of the longest running dance reality shows.
"TV has opened the gates. Earlier it was only restricted to films," Javed told IANS in an interview.
"Some good talent was just hanging around and waiting for someone to spot them and TV gave them the spotlight. Actors got this platform, which is so great, and could accommodate anyone," added the son of Bollywood's popular comedian Jagdeep.
Javed, who teamed up with Suchitra Krishnamoorthi in "Kash-m-Kash", one of the best love stories shown on Doordarshan, later restricted himself to non-fiction shows.
"I made up my mind that I will do fiction in films and non-fiction in TV. I was hosting and doing shows like 'Boogie Woogie'. I have done eight shows on TV which were all non-fiction, which is not much.
"When fiction started on TV, the daily soap splurge happened and I knew that I would not get caught in a daily soap," said the 49-year-old.
Currently he is giving voiceover to Hungama TV's latest show "Ninja Warriors".
Javed, who wears many hats, is now open to do fiction shows as long as it is a "once-a- week" type of role.
"I don't mind doing something like a once a week pivotal character. If there is something interesting where you are playing the lead and is something different, I would love to take it up," said the actor, comedian, choreographer, and producer.
The television industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18 percent over 2012-17, to reach Rs.848 billion in 2017, according to FICCI-KPMG Indian Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2013. And Javed feels growth has made competition tougher.
"There is more competition now, but by the grace of god, we have managed to stay afloat," he said.
"I always look for reinventing myself...doing something different and new. I term myself as an entertainer. Be it acting in movies, hosting, singing a song, and dancing. I keep myself from rusting," he added.
On the big screen, Javed did character roles in "Singh Is Kinng", "Salaam Namaste" and "Lafangey Parindey" among others.
"People feel that there is a lead actor and a character actor. This is wrong; every actor is a character. I like playing principal roles; this is why I don't take up too many films," said Javed who has produced two National Award-winning documentaries, "Inshallah, Kashmir" and "Inshallah Football".
"I enjoy acting. I like to be choosy. I like to see what I can bring to the table. I have to see how I can extend that parameter of the character, which I have been given. You have to go beyond that and bring a dimension and contribute. It is important to see how you are different in each film. You have to become the character," he said.
The actor has three films in the pipeline.
"I have got three movies in September-October. There is 'Besharam', 'War Chhod Na Yaar' and 'Mr. Joe B Carvalho'. They are good films and all three are different. I have also signed one or two films which I will start shooting after that," he said.
(Anjuri Nayar can be contacted at email@example.com)