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“This story will definitely inspire people to fight against pessimism,” Kitu Gidwani

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The actor discusses her role in Zee Theatre’s ‘Time Please’ and discusses why the life-affirming teleplay will be embraced by audiences in the South.

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Avid Doordarshan watchers still remember Kitu Gidwani effortlessly essaying Jane Austen’s Lydia Bennet in ‘Trishna’ (1985), the hugely popular Indian adaptation of ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ This was the first time Kitu appeared on the small screen and then went on to register her presence in cinema, television and stage as an accomplished actor. Having worked in TV shows like ‘Swabhimaan,’ ‘Junoon’, ‘Air Hostess’ and in films like ‘Deham’, ‘Rukmavati ki Haveli,’ and ‘Fashion’ among others, Kitu has also enjoyed being a part of Zee Theatre’s teleplay ‘Time Please.’ Discussing the life-affirming theme of the teleplay, she says, its Telugu and Kannada translations will be embraced by the audiences in the South.

In ‘Time Please’, she plays Manini, a woman of privilege who is suddenly confronted by her mortality. She then finds hope, comfort and friendship with a watchman who broadens her perspective about human relationships. About Manini, Kitu says, “She’s a very fascinating character and the journey she goes through was very interesting. Manini is not used to interacting with watchmen but she grows close to this boy who is from a completely different background. It’s about how he inspires her and how she inspires him.The story shows that you should always be open-minded and connect with different kinds of human beings.That is a very inspirational message. Any story that gives hope to people can be very empowering and this one will definitely inspire people to fight against pessimism.”

About the teleplay format, she elaborates, “It was a devised play, so we had to learn pages of dialogues like it is done before a stage play. It was quite difficult to shoot with only three to four days of rehearsal but I accepted the challenge and we had a great time shooting it. The experience was obviously very useful to me as an actor. And of course, the story is so lovely and moving.”

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Looking back at her long and eventful acting journey, she says, “Today, there are many more platforms and roles for different people. As an older woman, you don’t only have to play the mother and can play different kinds of roles across genres. So, it’s obviously a much more exciting time for people like me because we get offered all kinds of roles. You can play a cop, a victim, a gangster, a politician, a boss, or just do crazy comedy. It’s a very exciting time.”

She also enjoys working in multilingual projects like Kamal Hassan’s ‘Aalavandhan’ which was simultaneously shot in Tamil and Hindi. She recalls,” It was thrilling to be in a Kamal Haasan film. I had one big action scene with him and it was great fun shooting with him because he is like a child who wants to play. He makes everything very fun. I haven’t acted in many South-Indian films, but I watch them on OTT platforms. South- Indian cinema has a very big pool of talent, their stories are very believable, interesting and quite deep. I would love to do more regional cinema as it has come of age.”

Penned by Harsha Jagdish, directed for stage by Homi Wadia and filmed by Swapna Waghmare Joshi, ‘Time Please’ also stars Jitendra Joshi, Meghna Erande, Sonal Minocha and Aman Uppal.

Watch it on 14th July at Tata Play Theatre.

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