He has come a long way – from the flop large-screen hero opposite Suchitra Krishnamoorthy in “Jazbaat” to the popular TV celebrity who gets mobbed.

While brother Ronit Roy has chosen to be loyal to Ekta Kapoors Balaji Telefilms, Rohit (who obviously hero-worships his elder brother) has moved outside the Balaji cocoon. There are rumours that he and Ekta dont see eye to eye.

“Both my wife (Manasi Joshi Roy) and I have been part of Kkusum, though never at the same time. Its very funny. But by the time Manasi took over as Kkusum I had already left the serial. In fact, I was in and out of Kkusum quite often. But I enjoyed it. I dont mind working in another Balaji soap if the role and set-up seem right. Some people may not like Ektas way of working.

But she runs a multimillion empire. She knows what shes doing. And shes providing rozi-roti (daily bread) to so many out-of-work actors.”

Rohit recalls the trauma his brother went through after his career in films failed to take off. “My mother and I went to every possible holy spot to pray for him. Our prayers were unanswered. Im very proud of what my brother has achieved.”

Speaking for himself, Rohit is still hopeful about a film career.

“Cinema will always remain my first love. I cant let go of my dream. I thought Hriday Shettys Plan last year was my new calling card in Bollywood. The first-half went well. But something went completely wrong in the second half.”

Rohit was last seen on big screen in Pritish Nandy Productions “Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena”.

“It was more like a cameo. I did it because I loved director Suparn Vermas script and for Pritish Nandy. Theyre kind enough to bill me as a guest in the credits. I dont want people to think Im eager to run back to cinema. Im happy doing my television, which has given me everything. When I had done Swabhimaan 10 years ago no one was ready for a daily soap.

Now with Sarrkar I seem to have come at the right time.”

Rohit admits his character in the political soap is patterned on Sanjay Gandhi.

“Im very uncomfortable doing romantic roles. I like playing volatile characters. Im quite similar to that character, hot headed, though Ive mellowed down a lot after marriage and fatherhood. I dont want my daughter to be embarrassed by anything I do. Thats why I select my soaps carefully. No more than one at a time.”

He now prepares to go into another soap, Ravi Chopras “Viraasat” next year. “I guess Viraasat will overlap with Sarrkar. But its worth it. Its a brilliant subject. And the Chopras are terrific producers. Im looking forward to it.”

He attributes the improvement in his acting skills to his wife.

“Manasi comes from a family of actors. Shes the actor in our family. I just lucked out. Before she told me how to improve myself I had the vanity to declare I wanted Rohit Roy to be revealed in every character I played. Manasi showed me how to get into character. Im looking forward to working with her.”

He has been told more than once that he seems to be inspired by Rajesh Khannas style of acting. “Even Anju Mahendrooji, who played my mother, told me during Swabhimaan I reminded her of Rajesh Khanna. But believe me Ive never studied his performances.

Its just one of those wild coincidences.”