One may agree or disagree with it, but the territory of actors in the showbiz is often defined by the tag that they end up getting, as per their medium of work. So there are film actors, TV actors, theatre actors, and a fresh new categorisation of OTT actors.
While many TV actors complain of being typecast for being over-the-top and by the tag of their platform, even theatre actors get labelled as serious actors, and rue it being a hindrance in getting on the silver screen. So, is it something similar for the actors predominantly work on OTT platforms or the wide variety of content and roles there, make it asy to switch between mediums?
For Sobhita Dhulipala, the star of Made in Heaven and Bard of Blood, it was never about the medium and always about the content and that’s why even when she started taking up web projects very early on in her career, tags didn’t matter.
“The kind of projects that I am attracted to is not the conventional ones and when opportunities came for web projects, all I cared was what my character or what the story was all about. The kind of projects I like to do that scope was not there in the films that I was getting. I feel that there is so much change underway and all the evolution that is happening in the entertainment world, it will be interesting to see ki kya hoga,” she shares.
Amit Sial’s acting career got a new lease of life after starring in web projects such as Inside Edge, Jamtara – Sabka Number Ayega and many others.
Sharing his views about the tags that actors get, he says, “When it comes to TV actors the tag is more common because they are very visible and over exposed. It is not that they are bad actors. There are a lot of TV actors that have also gone on to become film stars. So the whole idea of boxing actors in category is actually a thing of the past and it cannot happen with people who are working on OTT because we are not restricted to just one platform. OTT is helping us get film work.”
Calling out those who still practice the habit of differentiating actor, actor Sayani Gupta, a popular name in the OTT circuit thanks to her projects such as Inside Edge and International Emmy nominated series, Four More Shots Please!, says, “I don’t think you can demarcate actors ki yeh film, actor hai, yeh TV actor hai, ye OTT actor hai. It does not happen like that. I don’t think it can work like that and people who think like that need to revisit their concepts.”
However, the OTT actor is one tag that actors do not mind having, after all in recent times the OTT platforms have emerged to be the biggest source of entertainment and many actors who have worked on OTT have successfully juggled between web and big screen.
“It is a huge compliment to be called an OTT actor, why should we be worried by it?” asks Rajesh Tailang, who has been part of OTT shows such as Bandish Bandits, Selection Day, Mirzapur and Delhi Crime.
Elaborating on his views, he adds, “Look at how many big Bollywood stars are doing web projects. Had it been a bad label they would not have. It is very different from the TV actor tag, although that is wrong too. But being called an OTT actor is something I embrace with both my arms.”
Actor Chandan K Anand, who has starred in web projects such as Rangbaaz and the recently released film, Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, says there is still not any such tag as an OTT actor and that is because all kinds of actors are on a roll.
“The OTT is a great platform which is a mix of long and short filming format which leaves a lasting taste to the audiences. The trend is showcasing a change , which will surely be a golden period for all the hidden talents who had been living in this dream city to cherish their dreams to express through the medium of story writing and performing arts in Mumbai film industry,” he says.