Actor-producer Nirupam Paritala talks about his new series ‘Hitler Gari Pellam’ on Zee Telugu and how production cost has increased due to COVID-19
Hitler and his pellam (wife) are gearing up to spread some cheer and add a dollop of laughter to our evenings through the new series Hitler Gari Pellam. To be aired daily from August 17 on Zee Telugu, Hitler… is one of the first few Telugu serials that resumed shooting post-lockdown. Inspired by the popular Hindi serial Guddan Tumse Nahin Ho Paayegaa on Zee TV, the serial features television actor Nirupam Paritala as Hitler and Gomathi Priya playing his wife Bhanumathi. “Hitler… is for all those tired of watching emotional scenes on television. The drama is light-hearted and evokes positivity,” says Nirupam, who is also the producer.
Playing a perfectionist
Abhinav Jagarlamudi (AJ played by Nirupam) is a perfectionist and stickler for rules. Tired of his strict nature and disciplinary approach, his three daughters-in-law marry him off to Bhanumathi, a clumsy girl who never gets anything right. Faced with challenges, Bhanumathi manages household being a mother-in-law to three older-daughters in law.
The story shows how embracing insecurities and imperfections will bring in the change. Interestingly it is also not the story of a senior citizen being married off for companionship. “The characters are all of the same age group. How Abhinav became a father-in-law at such an young age is a suspense,” says Nirupam.
Nirupam’s television journey began in 2007 with ETV’s Chandramukhi. Since then the actor has played lead roles in different projects including Kalavari Kodallu (Zee Telugu) and the most popular serial Karthika Deepam on Star Maa. He returns to Zee Telugu with Hitler… after a long hiatus. Referring to his nomenclature as Sobhan Babu of the small screen, he says, “Like Sobhan Babu garu, I am usually cast opposite two heroines in my serials. And, also some people feel I resemble the great (late) actor.”
Nirupam credits his father, renowned writer-actor Ohmkar Paritala, for his writing skills. Earning his place in TV wasn’t a cakewalk for Nirupam. “I always knew I wanted to act and somehow took my dad for granted. Losing my father just days before shifting to Hyderabad was a big blow. I was clueless and didn’t know where to start. People respected me as my father’s son. They would allow me into their offices and even offer tea but not work,” he says.
Stint as a producer
Hitler… is his second serial as a producer (Prema was first). “Being an actor/producer is stressful; We work from 9 am to 9 pm on sets and I have to keep an eye on all departments. My co-producer Krishnakanth manages a lot of things and eases my burden.” The shooting of Hitler… was to begin in March but got halted due to COVID-19 lockdown. “It is a challenging time. The cost of production has increased post-pandemic,” he says.
He adds, “Although the shooting permission was given, some artistes were initially scared to come on sets. Work began slowly and we had to plan scenes with only two or three people and fit them in the frame. Producer has to take care of the food being provided on the sets. We have included kashaayam, more fruits and eggs in the menu. Producer has to ensure protocols are strictly followed and masks and PPE kits are provided.” The cost incurred is ₹1,20,000 to ₹1,80,000 for each episode. “Unlike films where the budget is not an issue, we have to shoot in limited budget otherwise the returns will be low,” he says.
(Hitler Gaari Pellam will be telecast on Zee Telugu and Zee Telugu HD from August 17; Monday-Friday 6.30 pm onwards)