Suniel Shetty gung ho on Mangat’s 123


MUMBAI: It’s a known fact that Suniel Shetty had cut himself from all acting assignments for the last 11 months due to his committment for Sahara One’s reality show Biggest Loser Jeetega. But come 16 July and Shetty hits the studio to play his role in Kumar Mangat’s new production 123. About the unusual title, he quips, “There are three Laxmi Narayans in the film.”


“I love the script, it’s an unreal comedy written by those who script the TV show, Naya Office Office. The shooting should be complete by August. I’m looking forward to shooting with my co-stars, Paresh Rawal and Tusshar Kapoor. I love Paresh as an actor. After Shootout at Lokhandwala, I share a great rapport with Tusshar. Though he beat me up in the film,” laughs Shetty.


In its ninth week, Biggest Loser Jeetega is buzzing on the TRPs chart, especially in metros. In the last few months, Shetty had made it clear that he was focusing on the show and keeping all acting offers at bay. Saying that it’s a role reversal ever since he’s taken up anchoring Biggest Loser Jeetega, he adds, “It’s a huge high to be associated with a group of people who are committed to do all that it takes to reduce their weight and lead a healthy lifestyle. I’ve become the comfort zone for all the contestants.”


On being queried as to why Javed Jaffrey and Rakhi Sawant were chosen as the first celebrity guests, he says, “For one, the task this week was dance-based and both are very good dancers. Their presence broke the normal routine. The contestants had a whale of a time interacting and learning from them. I made sure that they get right amount of respect and appreciation since they were our guests after all.”


Shetty says that the show is not a regular reality show. “We have to keep innovating on keeping the interest levels high among the participants and the viewers. It can’t be only about losing weight, the entertainment factor should be there,” he says.


Crediting Sahara One head Seemanto Roy for his involvement Shetty continues, “The channel is going all out to promote the show. The ad revenue coming in the recent weeks has been good. Of late, we have four breaks with some great brands signing on. I’m not particularly fond of seeing many too many ads when a show is on but it signifies the growing popularity of the show.”


Some reports have criticised Shetty for being low profile on the show. How does he react to it? “Honestly, I’m not affected. I had decided that I’d be myself. I’ve received feedback that I’m doing a good job from people who matter to me and that’s all that matters. Had I been aggressive and loud as others, these same critics would have said that I’m copying others.”


In the coming weeks, the contestants are going to form pairs. “So, one can expect more bickering and crying,” Shetty signs off.