After playing a stripper, Kiran Janjani suddenly found lucrative advertising and film offers slipping away from him.
Kiran, who played a stripper-hero in "Oops", is grateful now that he is back in business.
"I was jobless for three months. I was doing nothing! They even took away my campaign for Whirlpool refrigerators from me. They said, 'How can a stripper represent family values on television?'" Kiran told IANS.
"Everyone said a male stripper couldn't play a husband or a family man. How could I explain to people that it was only a role in 'Oops'? Then ad filmmaker Prahalad Kakkad called for a Kit-Kat ad. And I was back in business."
In the period of exile, he even did four episodes of the TV soap "Kyun Hota Hai Pyarr". "My 'Oops' co-star Vikas Sethi coaxed me into it. I did just four episodes and then I was gone."
But now Kiran has bounced back with as many as five assignments.
"I've just completed Bappaditya Roy's 'Sau Jhooth Ek Sach' with the mighty Mammooty. I've learnt so much by acting with him. And I feel rejuvenated as an actor.
"I've also done another film with television's well-known director Ajai Sinha. It's called 'Stop'. I play a negative character, though not an out-and-out villain. We shot in Dubai.
"I now have a film with director Ravi Kumar Ganipudi. Rajiv Ruia who made 'Mission Mumbai' says he has a script that he wants to make only for me. In that I play a man with a terrible past on whom the girl he has wronged takes revenge. This, like 'Murder', is set entirely in Bangkok."
"Murder" is the new benchmark for success. Kiran seems relieved by the turn of events.
"Luckily, none of my directors are asking me to take off my clothes. For some reason I was recognised as a performer in 'Oops'. I could've gone into oblivion. Not that I'm not grateful to Deepak Tijori for giving me 'Oops'.
"Whatever I'm getting today is because of 'Oops'. Now there're directors who are willing to sign me on at any cost. But I'm not getting that one 'A' grade project that could put me up there."
He epitomises aspirants from outside the Bollywood fold who are increasingly making a lunge for stardom. They now call it the Mallika Sherawat Effect.
Since Mallika drew in crowds for "Murder" on the strength of her oomph and acting talent, aspirants who aren't well connected within the film industry have also been feeling enthused to try their hand at stardom.