, New Delhi. Veteran actor Raj Babbar, who has successfully covered the journey of cinema and politics, is now venturing into the world of OTT with Disney Plus Hotstar’s web series Dil Bekraar. Raj will be seen as a retired judge and five daughters in this screen adaptation of Anuja Chauhan’s popular novel Two Pricey Thakur Girls.

At the same time, Veteran actress is sharing screen space with Padmini Kolhapure and Poonam Dhillon after seven years. Raj Babbar has worked with both these actresses in some of the most memorable films of his career. The web series directed by Habib Faisal stars Akshay Oberoi and Sahar Bamba in the lead roles. The series is coming to the platform on 26th November. Jagran.com Deputy Editor talks to Raj Babbar and Padmini Kolhapure in detail on various aspects of the series. Here are its excerpts-

The eighties are considered to be the peak of both of your careers. Both of you had worked in many important films. Now how nostalgic was it to relive the same era in Dil Bekarar?

Raj Babbar- Yes Manoj you are very right. For us, the biggest feature of this series was this, which came as an advantage. One, when Habib sahib (Faizal) called and narrated the subject, we were watching the period he was narrating. It was a beautiful period. When he asked about doing the series, we said – there is no choice. I am interested The talk is over. We went. I didn’t know at that time who was working in it. When it was told that Padmini ji (Kolhapure) and Poonam ji (Dhillon) are working in this, the confidence level increased further.

We went out to work with these people and you are right, that is an important period for us. There has also been a period of our identity. Then the Young Generation was revealed in the series. I had also seen the work of Sahar (Bamba) and also the work of Akshay (Oberoi). Thought I would get a chance to work with very nice people. When I got dressed and entered that environment, I became absolutely nostalgic.

Habib sahib had taken us to that era, now it was our job to see how we breathe in that era. In that Habib sahib helped us a lot and was very meticulous. Whatever they wanted, they used to believe only after taking it. The eighties were very dear to us and when we got a chance to recreate it, it turned into a icing on the cake. When the audience will see this period, then it will be shocked that the beauty, innocence, which is the truth, what the production team has given in showing this era, people are going to like it very much.

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Padmini Kolhapure- The way he (Habab Faisal) has shown in this series, it seems that he has lived every single thing. People will be emotional after watching this series. They will get a chance to live that era again. Well, we have lived that era. I think it was more challenging for Akshay and Sahar. These people had to work harder. Raj ji, Poonam and I were happy that they got back together after so many years. The fun of watching the energy of Akshay, Sahar and the rest of the young actors was something else.

The eighties are known for many social issues related films. Do you think the interest of the makers for such films has waned now?

Raj Babbar- If we look at Dr. Kotnis’s Amar Kahani, Mehboob Khan’s Mother India or earlier, this period has always been there. Cinema has always been of social concern. Raj Kapoor sahab has always made such films. Be it boot polish or some other film. He has made socially relevant films, but also put a marketing aspect in it.

Now I will come to Dil Bekraar… Doose Pricey Thakur Girls has been adapted in such a tight manner that it does not lose its spirit. The original spirit of it, too, was not lost. It has romance, comedy inside it and everything that a viewer would want to see in a cinema. Wants to see it tickle. The lesson you are talking about, there is no such teaching in Dil Bekarar. But the kind of cinema that Guru Dutt or Raj Kapoor used to live, you will see a slight feeling of it in Dil Bekarar too, with all the beautiful laughs and jokes.

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You have done more serious characters and films in your career. How was the experience of doing complete comedy in Dil Bekraar?

Raj Babbar- Situational comedy has a different pleasure. I have enjoyed that pleasure even within this series. I never thought that I am doing a series or doing a serial. Because I enjoy acting and I think I am doing a role. It is a romantic story and has many characters and actors around it. An idealistic, honest, principled judge is what you see. There is also a journalist fighting him, who wants to expose him. He also has autonomous happiness in that. He wants my name to come. My byline also came. But the truth is that he wants to do something big and he doesn’t care for it. He is unafraid to expose whoever is in front of him.

The character that Sahar has done, that of Dabboo, that of Debjani Thakur, is an amazing character. If anyone asks me it is a very idealistic love story. Two idealistic people start liking each other and want in 80’s style. At first they are left watching, smiling, playing cards. (Laughing out loud, remembering the time of shooting) Hey brother, that court piece… Even today I am scared to mention its name. He sent court piece leaves to my house. I put it in the car. Put it in the van. Keep it at home Habib sahib also did not answer. He also taught me to hold cards in this film and I always used to forget my line whether to throw my leaf or speak my line.

Padmini Kolhapure- (laughs) Habib sahib also made me do many such things, which I normally do not do in life. My character is also very funny. Had a lot of fun doing it.

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How do you see a new platform like OTT? Especially from the perspective of senior actors?

Raj Babbar- There is a huge advantage for actors, writers and directors too. Even for productions. Sorry, not just for us, but for the audience too. Cinema will live forever. For those who want to go out with family, there will be cinema. But, those who do not have time, want to see good work and want to see good content. The OTT platform will be like a boon for them.

Padmini Kolhapure- The future of OTT is great in India. Not only for senior actors, but for all actors.

Last question, apart from being an artist, you are also in public life. So, what do you think about regulating OTT content?

Raj Babbar- I am not answering this question because I am tied to anything, but the era I am talking about is Dil Bekarar and the realm I am in is Dil Bekarar. I can say this with a certainty that there is no such thing in Dil Bekarar, on which any comment will come to the fore. What happened yesterday, what will happen tomorrow. I can’t comment on this because I don’t know. But as far as Dil Bekarar is concerned, I can say with great confidence that Habib Faisal, the producers and the platform have not done anything that could pose a threat.

Padmini Kolhapure- It is being promoted as a family entertainer. When it comes to family entertainer, people can watch this show with family.

Edited By: Manoj Vashisth