Mahesh Manjrekar is all set to foray into television production with a Marathi serial Tujha Majha Jamena that is slated to be aired on Zee Marathi. And the actor-turned-director is finding the experience too stressful. "I am losing a lot of sleep over the deadlines. Now, I have started respecting people who have long-running soaps on air," smiles Manjrekar who has also scripted the serial. "It is basically about the changing relationships in a family, the focus being on a married man torn between his mother and wife, both of whom are possessive about him. I think 90 per cent of the people have gone through this experience," says Manjrekar.
The filmmaker, who started his acting career on TV over two decades ago, says that Marathi serials which prided on their strong subjects have lately become over-the-top. "It's the influence of Hindi serials," he laments. As for producing Hindi serials, Manjrekar wants to give it some time. "There's too much interference from creative heads and unless I am given complete freedom to make a serial the way I want to I am not interested," he says. He, however, is sure that TV is where the future of entertainment lies.
Manjrekar was recently seen reprising Amjad Khan's role in the Himmatwala remake. The film was completely panned by the critics. Tell him that and he says people did appreciate his performance. "Moreover, I am an actor and I don't have a choice. I do these films solely to make money, that helps me run my plays well," says the actor-turned-director. His next outing as an actor is Rajjo in which he plays a eunuch. When asked how he has approached the character that he is essaying for the first time, Manjrekar is nonchalant. "When a man dresses like a woman and talks like a man, he becomes a eunuch. If you underline it, it becomes gross," he says simply.
Besides his acting assignments, the filmmaker who has some award-winning and critically-acclaimed films like Astitva, Vaastav in Hindi and Me Shivajirao Bhosle Boltoy in Marathi to his credit has not directed a Hindi film for long. "I am incapable of making South remakes. Also, I don't want to make a film that is dictated by the trade," says Manjrekar.
Ask him about the film he is doing with Salman Khan and Manjrekar says, "It is being made for Salman's Being Human and it is better if he announces it." He, however, has a Marathi directorial venture coming up. "I cannot divulge anything about the film because Star Pravah, the Marathi channel which is getting into distribution with this film, will be making an announcement," he informs.