The lead character of Gori Mem in Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai, once played by Saumya Tandon, became synonymous with the actress. When she decided to quit the show after five years, leaving the makers in a fix, she wasn’t immediately replaced. Rather the show producers and creative heads took time in casting another popular name, Nehha Pendse, in the role. Now, as Nehha finds her footing in the comedy show, her co-star Aasif Sheikh, who plays Vibhuti Narayan Mishra, has opened up on the time the actress stepped in for Saumya and how the fans reacted to the big replacement.
“Viewers get used to watching a certain character, so initially there were a lot of negative reactions. People said a lot of things. There were some positive reactions as well but mostly negative things were said like, ‘How can you change the main character?’ But, slowly people get used to it. Same thing happened when Angoori was replaced and initially there were a lot of negative reactions too. When a show is running for such a long period you can’t avoid these things. They are bound to happen," said Aasif.
Aasif adds that Nehha is working hard on taking up the character. “She is settling in. She is taking her own time. If an actor has done a character for five years then how can you expect someone new to perform as good as she did? We are giving her time and I’m sure she will pick up and do well.”
He is all praise for co-star Rohitashv Gour, who plays Manmohan Tiwari and has been with the unit since the beginning. Aasif says, “He is a fantastic human being. We never had any confusion between us. We appreciate and respect each other’s work. I feel fortunate getting to work with him because he has no confusion or complexes. He is a straight forward and simple human being and that is good for a TV actor because if you start developing complexities it leads to one thing after another. We eat lunch together and spend time on the sets."
The cast and crew of the show has returned from Surat recently where they shot for a special episode. The move came weeks after the restrictions were imposed in Maharashtra. He says another schedule like this will follow starting June 3 or 4, since there is no official word yet on lifting of the lockdown rules in Mumbai. Aasif rounds off his experience of the outdoor shoot during the pandemic and said, “We shot inside a bio bubble. We did not go out and followed all the protocols. I used to only leave my room when I was required outside. I even ate all my meals in the room. All of us were grounded and strictly working. There was no fun."
Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai airs on &TV.