Exclusive! Abhishek Nigam on replacing Sheezan Khan in Ali Baba Ek Andaaz Andekha: Comparisons are inevitable, but I will give my best to the character

Replacement is not easy. For Abhishek Nigam, who has agreed to replace Sheezan Khan to play the new Ali Baba on TV, it was even more difficult. Sheezan is currently in judicial custody. He was arrested on December 25 for aiding his co-star Tunisha Sharma to commit suicide. On December 24, the actress was presumed dead by suicide in the makeup room on the set of the movie Ali Baba: Dastaan-e-Kabul, which has now been renamed Ali Baba Ek Andaaz Andekha – Chapter 2. The unit resumed filming five days after the tragic incident and producers began hunting for a new male lead, ending up in Abhishek. In an exclusive interview with BT, Abhishek talks about the responsibility on his shoulders, his worries before joining the show, and the relationship he shares with Tunisha, whom he has worked with in a previous program. Excerpt:
The show has been in the news since Tunisha’s tragic death and subsequent arrest of Sheezan. Come to think of it, are you afraid to join the program?
Of course, there were apprehensions. Even if it’s a conventional role, one weighs the pros and cons of the offer. I sought everyone’s advice and realized that I had no reason to turn down an offer. The circumstances are unfortunate, but we made a show with a lot of love and hard work. Iske peeche ek insaan ka haath nahi hota bahut logon ki kadi mehnat hoti hai. I went ahead with that feeling. The previous main couple had successfully completed the task. I realized that it would take a lot of work to play this character and I went in with that determination. I’m sure our dedication will pay off.

The unit has moved to a different location after Tunisha’s death, having returned to its original setting a few weeks ago. Are you annoyed when you start shooting on January 15th?uncomfortable se zyadaresponsibility wala trayaal haavi tha. I was very nervous and scared at first because the decision to board the train was made overnight. Whenever I was nervous, the director and actors encouraged me. Everyone was supportive, warm and understanding. They don’t make me feel like a new person.

How is the atmosphere on set now?
While we have to go through pain, life is also meant to go on. Everyone worked hard and tried to keep a positive atmosphere on set. We’re looking at the bigger picture and thinking about how many people depend on the show for a living. Of course, mushkil toh hoti hai par usse aagey nikalna hai.

Abhishek Nigam

Substitution leads to comparison. Are you worried about being compared to Sheezan?
Regardless of the nature of the substitution, comparisons are normal and unavoidable. It is difficult for the audience to accept a new face. However, if you are diligent and portray your character convincingly, you will win the hearts of the audience. Our thought process was to convey a new approach to the show. Although the core emotions are retained, my character is different from before. It’s more energetic and quirky.

Abhishek with Tunisha Sharma

Have you worked with Tunisha in Hero – Gayab Mode On before and also with Sheezan in Chandra
Nandini. What is your equation with them?

I worked with Tunisha on Hero – Gayab Mode On and then on a music video. She is fun and has great energy. I know her for many years. She is hardworking, talented, quick to learn and easy to work with. I was shocked and couldn’t believe it when I heard the news of her sudden passing. It took me a long time to accept it. She has a bright future and if she is alive, she will make a big deal in the industry. All my memories of Tunisha are of her smiling around me. I have worked with Sheezan for a long time. He is also hardworking, focused and dedicated to his profession and fitness.

What do you think of the ongoing case between Tunisha’s mother and Sheezan Khan, who was arrested after she filed a complaint?
I apologize for not sharing my opinion, as I do not want it to affect the case. A lot of things are happening already. I don’t want to make comments that lead to something undesirable.


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