We may have seen her in many roles over the last two decades but the role that made her a household name was that of Kumkum. In a freewheeling chat, Juhi Parmar reveals what it was like to play such an iconic character at such a tender age and more.
No matter how many powerful roles you do, every time one hears your name, we are immediately taken back to your Kumkum days. Prior to that, you were also seen in Choodiyan. However, you made a bold choice of featuring in Shaheen. It was a breakthrough role but not many could have anticipated that the show would be admired so much. It certainly wasn't a role an aspiring actress would have dared to take up. What made you sign up for it?
I feel that every aspiring actor would in fact really want to do a show like Shaheen. Shaheen was not just a title role but also a very intense character that I got to portray at the age of 19. So I feel I was very lucky to have gotten an opportunity to play a character like that. Shaheen was one character that made the industry notice me as an actor! So I would say that any actress in my place would have just loved to portray the character that I did.
How long after shooting for Kumkum did you realise that your character had become iconic?
When the show launched we all knew that it was an instant hit, but the first realization of the show becoming a big hit came after a year of it on air. It was when the first star parivaar awards happened, where the best bahu award was given to both Kumkum & Tulsi. I shared my award with Tulsi who was the most iconic bahu on-screen back then, but I was also voted for by the audiences due to which I got to share the award with her. After which I realized how iconic the show and character was turning out to be.
If there was one thing, you could change in Kumkum's character now to suit the current generation of audiences. What would it be?
I wouldn't want to change anything about the character 'Kumkum', because Kumkum was a perfect wife, daughter, daughter in law, mother, and a perfect woman. There was nothing that she lacked as she was one person who could do anything and everything! I in fact feel that Kumkum was a show ahead of its time because we showed the devar bhabhi jodi which was very loved. And when Kumkum got married to Sumit it was majorly loved and became such an iconic couple which people still remember it to be as one of the best couples on Indian Television. So to project the character's in a way from devar and bhabi which became a couple, was a very bold angle in the show, and the way people accepted it was lovely! I feel that people really loved the show back then, and I feel that today's audience will also love Kumkum as much as it was loved back then!
Do you feel the women on majority today's shows have progressed or just regressed?
Women were portrayed as very strong personalities earlier as well because television is a medium for women! Today also they are portrayed in very strong ways. Though the content is a mix of both, as there are some shows which have regressive storylines, but then there are those shows which also show women from this new era. Television has a mixed bag of viewers, so there has to be content to cater to all of them.