By Chaitanya Padukone
TV superstar and film-actor Krushna Abhishek who will bring in his birthday, on May 30th, also completes two decades in Bollywood, having kick-started his filmy acting career in May 2002. Living up to his divine name of ‘Krishna’ he appears in a variety of hilarious ‘role-avatars. Invariably, he is the clap-worthy scene-stealer when he makes his impactful entry in The Kapil Sharma Show (on Sony TV). Especially when he perfectly mimics veteran Bollywood legends like Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, and of course Jackie Shroff. Or when he struts around as the freak-out parlor-masseuse ‘Sapna’.
‘Bees saal baad’ — charismatic Krushna has no grudges against destiny, as regards his career journey. Jogging into a flash-back, the frank-natured actor opens up with an emotional tinge in his voice, “It may be recalled, that I started off as an agile dancer in the TV dance reality show ‘Nach Baliye’. Then, I was known as Govinda’s nephew. Later on, I was even labeled as Kashmera Shah’s boyfriend and then her husband. But for the past several years, I am being recognized in my independent identity as ‘Krushna Abhishek’.
Millions of my ardent fans are aware, that it’s me, Krushna playing all those different characters in the Kapil Sharma show. Today it’s just not possible for me to walk on the streets or visit a shopping mall, without being mobbed for selfies by throngs of crazy fans. Which is similar to the adulation showered on legendary super-stars. Fans love me not because I appear on TV and bond with celeb guests on our show. But because they love to watch me and they emotionally connect with me. God has been kind, what more can I ask for,” smiles Abhishek Sharma, who has a semi-surreal explanation for his current name.
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“Since my mother was a staunch fan of Sr. Bachchan-Saab, my parents had decided on the name Abhishek. When I started my career, we realized that the name Abhishek on the internet referred only to actor Abhishek Bachchan. My ‘late’ father Atmaprakash, who was born on Janmashtami day and passed away on Janmashtami day in 2016, was an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna. Hence to avoid confusion, the divine name Krushna was added to my name, with the numerological mascot ‘U’.
As an upcoming actor, in a friend’s role my father had shared screen-space with legendary Dilip Kumar-Saab in the movie ‘Leader’ (1964),” reveals Abhishek, who has now defied his zany comic image to deviate into a sinister filmy zone.
The modest Krushna is almost done with shooting for this upcoming Hindi bold psycho-thriller movie ‘Red’. In which he is cast as the ‘anti-hero’ killer lover-boy with negative shades. Helmed by the acclaimed veteran director Ashok Tyagi the maverick multi-starer movie ‘Red’ is produced by Rajeev Chaudhary (eminent director of ‘Beiimaan Love’ movie). In this movie ‘Red’, which also has veteran versatile star Shakti Kapoor in an unconventional role and multi-faceted suave actor Mukesh Tyagi playing the top-cop, the tall, handsome Krushna is paired opposite vivacious heroine Payal Ghosh (of ‘Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi’ fame) and various other female artistes.
What made Krushna leap out of his comfort (comedy) zone to step into the screen-avatar of a serial psycho-lady-killer? By uncanny coincidence, even king-of-romance mega-star Rajesh Khanna had daringly played a lady-killer in this retro movie ‘Red Rose (1980)? Reacts the outspoken actor Krushna, “Honestly, when veteran director Ashok-Sir (who knows me since I was a teenager) offered me this diabolical-shades role in ‘Red’, I was a bit skeptical and asked him whether he had the confidence that I would do justice to it. But then I took up ‘Red’ as a challenge. Because my character ‘Rajveer’ allows me to play a multi-layered serious-intense role of a talented writer-husband betrayed by his unfaithful promiscuous wife. There is sensitive emotion, romance, drama, suspense, crime, streaks of horror, smart dialogues, and alluring erotica all integrated into the gripping ‘Red’ plot, with shock-value jolts- twists. But out here I have nothing to with comedy,” elaborates the ‘Sharmaji Ki Lag Gai’ (2019) comedy-movie lead actor.
Meanwhile, Krushna who will be shortly leaving with his talented team, for his series of live Kapil Sharma comedy shows in the much-hyped US-Canada overseas tour, has also shot for this hilarious movie ‘Shriman Aishwarya Rai’. The wacko comedy film directed by his talented actress-wife Kashmera Shah also has Kiku Sharda and Shreyas Talpade as his co-stars.
“Comedy is definitely my forte, but I also want audiences and fans to know that I can very well shine in different genres of contrasting roles,” signs off the ‘Zinda-dil’ spontaneous celeb-actor Krushna.
(The writer Chaitanya Padukone is an eminent award-winning senior film-journalist and author of memoirs book R D Burmania)