Veteran actor Neena Gupta says she had made a pilot for the potential follow-up to her acclaimed television show Saans, which was “rejected” by the channel.
The incident is addressed in the second season of Masaba Masaba, the semi-fictional series based on the lives of Gupta and her designer-actor daughter Masaba Gupta. Directed by Sonam Nair, season two started streaming on Netflix last week.
Gupta said she had many meetings with the channel about three-four years ago, but the second installment didn’t move forward as they didn’t like the pilot.
“I told Sonam and the writers that this is what happened to me. I made a pilot for Saans 2 and it was rejected. And the way they behaved was not very nice. This is a reality which happened to me and that’s why I wanted to put it in (Masaba Masaba),” the 63-year-old told PTI.
In 2019, the actor had announced plans to make season two of Saans, a 1998 relationship drama which she starred in, wrote and directed. Also featuring Kanwaljit Singh and Kavita Kapoor, the show aired on Star Plus and ran for over 150 episodes.
Through her character in Masaba Masaba, the makers tackle thorny issues like casual sexism, mansplaining, and ageism.
Gupta said all the characters in the show, including hers, represent a ray of hope.
“It’s important in today’s times to give hope to people,” she added.
Popular TV actor Ram Kapoor plays Gupta’s former co-star and flame Shekhar Mirza in Masaba Masaba 2.
The actor said she had a lot of fun working with Kapoor, known for shows such as Bade Achhe Lagte Hain and Kasamh Se.
“Ram was very sweet. I told him ‘Thank you very much, you worked with me although you are younger than me’ and that doesn’t happen often,” she added.
Also starring Neil Bhoopalam and Rytasha Rathore, Masaba Masaba is showrun by Ashvini Yardi of Viniyard Films.
Kusha Kapila, Kareema Barry, Barkha Singh, and Armaan Khera round out the cast with cameos by Singh, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 star Kartik Aaryan, actor Neelam Kothari, supermodel-actor Milind Soman, and the late veteran music composer Bappi Lahiri.