The nation waits for Bigg Boss every year with bated breath. Adding to the excitement, the makers recently launched the controversial reality show in regional languages to cater to a bigger audience. After Bangla, Telugu, Kannada and Tamil, the show is all set to be launched in Marathi. And taking charge as the host would be Mahesh Manjrekar. An acclaimed actor and filmmaker both in the Hindi and Marathi industry, Manjrekar will take charge in the first season of this exciting show. At the launch of the series, indianexpress.com got into an exclusive chat with Mahesh over the show and his bestie Salman Khan, who has become the face of Bigg Boss.
When asked about his first reaction after receiving the call from the makers, Mahesh animatedly celebrated and then shared with us, “When I got to know Bigg Boss is being made in Marathi, I knew the show would require a host, who has a lot of character. At the back of my mind I knew I would be able to do it but with so many big faces already there in the Marathi industry, I did not know it could come my way. So when Nikhil (Nikhil Sane – Business Head of the channel) called me asking if I would do it, I was like don’t ask, I am already on-board.”
He further added, “But I won’t lie, I definitely had butterflies in my stomach. We did a mock shoot and then shot the music video and I thought I would do well. The fact that Bigg Boss doesn’t require any script is phenomenal as then you get caught between lines, here I can be all out and express my true emotions.”
Mahesh shares a great bond with Salman Khan, one of the most popular and successful hosts of Bigg Boss. When asked if he discussed taking up the show with him, he stated, “Yes, I met him and he was really excited for me. He also advised me to not hold back myself and laugh and cry with the contestants. Salman also shared that I shouldn’t try to be a host but rather be their friend, philosopher, guide and also a taskmaster whenever required.”
The filmmaker accepted that he did watch Salman’s episodes but shared his reasons of not taking any tips. “I can never do what he does. He has his own style and he is brilliant. I will like to bring my own personality and style in the show. I have a very tongue-in-cheek humour and I can also be a deadpan actor, so it’s going to be exciting. There’s always a speculation about how I am in real life and the world will now get to see what’s behind the mask and know me as a person.”
As the discussion steered towards his friendship with Salman, we asked Mahesh his opinion on Salman being sentenced to five-year jail term in the 1998 blackbuck case. The Bajrangi Bhaijaan star has already spent two nights in custody and Mahesh believes what has happened was definitely not right. “Salman doesn’t deserve to be there. He is a wonderful human being and a phenomenal friend. Our friendship is not based on any professional association and for me; there cannot be a better friend than him.”
The two actors have shared screen space in films like Jai Ho, Wanted, Ready, Bodyguard and Dabangg. We further reminded him that Salman was to remake Mahesh’s Marathi film, to which he stated, “I don’t know for now. But whenever he wants, he can do it. Anything for him, forever.”
Bigg Boss Marathi will air on Colors Marathi from April 15.