Replacing actors in popular soaps has become de rigeur. So much so that this year saw close to two dozen actors being replaced. Even actors no longer shy away from stepping into others' shoes. The year began with the shocking news of Pratyusha Banerjee making way for Toral Rasputra as Anandi in Balika Vadhu and ended with Raqesh Vashisth replacing Karan Singh Grover as Asad in Qubool Hai.
Toral Rasputra – Pratyusha Banerjee
Early in the year came the shocking news that Pratyusha Banerjee who had become a household name as Anandi was being replaced by Toral Rasputra. Reasons ranged from Pratyusha throwing tantrums to her not being able to give enough time for the shoot. Her health issues were cited as the main cause of easing her out. Toral was brought in, and settled into the role after a few weeks. She however does not get along with her co-star and onscreen husband Shiv (Siddharth Shukla). However, their onscreen chemistry is steady.
Dheeraj Dhoopar - Shoaib Ibrahim
Sasural Simar Ka
Shoaib Ibrahim who was playing Prem in Sasural Simar Ka was not happy with the way his role was shaping up and decided to opt out. In came Dheeraj Dhoopar who is holding the fort in the female-oriented show since then. For the viewers it didn’t matter who was playing the role!
Pooja Bose – Sonarika Bhadoria
Devon Ke Dev Mahadev
Sonarika was popular as Parvati but after a year of playing the role, the actress wanted a pay hike. She apparently discussed the same with the producers who promised to revise her remuneration but she was unhappy with the offer. There were reports of her throwing tantrums on the sets and was replaced overnight. Pooja Bose who came in her place has already expressed her desire to quit as she wants to pursue her career in regional films. The Bengali actress played the role only for four months!
Rubina Dilaik — Gia Manek
Jeannie in Jeannie Aur Juju
Gia Manek had become synonymous with her onscreen character Jeannie in Jeannie Aur Juju, so it was shocking when she was out. Gia apparently wanted a hike in her remuneration, which did not go down well with the channel and they decided to replace her. Rubina Dilaik was zeroed in on as a replacement. Now, speculation is rife that Ali Asgar who plays Juju wants to quit.
Sargun Mehta — Sriti Jha
Ganga in Balika Vadhu
Sriti Jha had been playing the role of Ganga since last December. Even as the Jagya-Ganga track was gaining prominence, Sriti decided to opt out of the show as she was not happy with the way her role was shaping up. Sargun who has played urban characters and a dacoit wanted to play a typical bahu and couldn’t have asked for a better role. Rumours were abuzz that her character will be eased out, but she has denied it.
Rithvik Dhanjani — Vikrant Massey
Host of Yeh Hai Aashiqui
Yeh Hai Aashiqui was the first outing as a host for Vikrant Massey. However, within a few weeks, there were whispers of Vikrant, who is also doing Qubool Hai, acting difficult and not allotting enough dates for the show. Vikrant who wanted to pursue a film career has finally opted out and Rithvik Dhanjani, who had hosted one episode and also acted in one based on the Jia Khan case, has taken over.
Pragati Mehra — Shilpa Shinde
Dayamaayi in Do Dil Ek Jaan
Shilpa Shinde, who was roped in place of Kamya Punjabi for the role of Dayamaayi had some creative issues with the makers. So she was out and Pragati Mehra last seen in Uttaran has taken over. Pragati on her part claimed that she was the first choice!
Sonia Balani – Fennil Umrigar
Pihu in Bade Acche Laggte Hai
When Bade Acche Laggte Hai took a leap, Fennil Umrigar was brought in to play the teenage Pihu. However, a few episodes later she was replaced with Sonia Balani. The reason: Fennil couldn’t connect with the audience. Also, her role was to turn negative and the producer felt that she wouldn’t look the part. So she was out, and Sonia was brought in.
Hally Shah – Ulka Gup
Ami in Khelti Hai Zindagi Aankh Micholi
The serial that saw the comeback of Gautami Kapoor had Ulka Gupta, best known as Jhansi Ki Rani, in a pivotal role. However, she was replaced recently with Hally Shah as she was said to be making herself absent from the shoots and comparing herself to Gautami. It’s a different thing that the serial itself is set to go off air next month!
Raqesh Vashisth - Karan Singh Grover
The ouster of Karan Singh Grover who is playing the lead role of Asad in Qubool Hai came as a shock to the fans of the show. Karan is said to have been playing truant from the shoot or not giving enough hours, the reason he was shown the door. He, on the other hand, claims to have asked the channel to relieve him as he had some health issues. Whatever the cause, Karan's out and Raqesh Vashisth has taken up the challenging task of fitting into his shoes in the popular show.