Raqesh Bapat won hearts with his dimpled smile and gentlemanly looks in the 2001 musical hit Tum Bin. He then went on to star in television shows like Saat Phere: Saloni Ka Safar (2005-2008), Maryada: Lekin Kab Tak? (2010-2012) and Qubool Hai (2014). The good-looking actor has now entered Bigg Boss OTT, the digital chapter of the reality show, as one of the most popular contestants. Before getting locked up in the house for 6 weeks, Rakesh spoke to News18 and said he’s excited to find out what’s in store for him on the show. Excerpts:
What are you feeling before entering the Bigg Boss OTT house?
I’m very numb, honestly speaking. I’m just going with the flow. I’m not thinking too much about it. I have never watched Bigg Boss seasons before. I want to enter completely with a blank slate, and go there and see what’s in store. And I’m excited to do that, actually.
How did you mentally prepare for the show?
The pandemic prepared all of us, it was like a Bigg Boss house in real life without the cameras. It taught us to be atmanirbhar - how to become self-sufficient and be prepared for whatever comes ahead. It also taught us a lot about mental health. Bigg Boss is a show which is all about the mind, so you have to be mentally strong. And in this pandemic, a lot of people have spoken about mental health issues. So I think it made me completely say yes to the show.
Are you now prepared to have cameras on you all the time?
I’m a very private person. I don’t stay in Mumbai, I stay in Pune. I have a beautiful house there with my paintings and sculptings happening. I did my visual art therapy there as well. So I’ve been away from a lot of things for a long time. It was like taking a break in the sense of rebooting myself. For me, more than two people is crowd anyway. So I used to think, how will I do it? But I came to the conclusion that if you’re true to yourself, to who you are, there’s nothing to hide. You are not doing something wrong. So it’s okay to be in front of the camera.
Your fans have seen you onscreen as an actor, which aspect of your personality do you want them to see now?
They’re going to see what I am honestly, I’m not here to raise eyebrows or grab eyeballs. It’s a challenge, and I love taking challenges. People who know me, know that I am very quiet and creative, very to-the-point and perfect about doing things. So probably they would like to see a person who is completely opposite of what Bigg Boss mates are expected to be. That would be a different, interesting take for them, I guess.