TV stars start second innings on OTT channels

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The pandemic has changed things for many in entertainment. OTT turned out to be a big platform during this period and in fact the consumption of online content has increased during the lockdown.

Due to these factors many actors have started looking towards over-the-top channels. Many of them are finding it the best way to advance their careers.

Even some well known TV stars are exploring options on OTT.

Like actor Ravi Bhatia known for portraying ‘Salim’ in the show ‘Jodha Akbar’, went on to star in ‘Shukla – The Tiger’ and became interested in doing more web shows. As he says OTT is helping him to grow in his career and there are no biases in terms of gender and age. He is working on projects like ‘Margaon – The Closed File’ and ‘Char ka Punchnama’.

“I haven’t got my due from television shows. But OTT is actually helping me to live my dream. No doubt television has given me the break but online platforms are helping me to grow as an actor, producer and giving opportunities irrespective of gender and age. So in the coming time I see scope for growth in OTT as far more compared to television,” said Ravi.

Similarly actress Arshi Khan who has done shows like ‘Vish’, ‘Savitri Devi College & Hospital’, is more keen on doing OTT shows because she finds them more interesting and she is finding roles that suit her age and she can connect with the youth. So Arshi moved towards doing web series ‘The Evil Desires’ and ‘Raat Ki Rani Begum Jaan’.

She says: “On TV the roles I came across didn’t seem very impressive. So for me OTT is a game changer. I got to play different roles which focus only on me and allowed me to present myself as an actor to my audience. I also received much appreciation. And I’m glad to be playing roles of my age. On television certain times I was asked to play the character of a mom which is really not appropriate for me.”

Many actors like well known TV face Mrunal Jain feel that OTT brings more realistic stories that are rarely shown on television. He has been involved with daily soaps like ‘Hitler Didi’ and ‘Uttaran’ and he is busy doing a web series inspired by the Rohtak sisters incident.

“OTT is a big boom. I’m doing a web series inspired by real events. OTT content is very realistic and the opportunities are plenty. I was not getting the kind of roles which I want on TV, so I took up web shows.”

Actor Sharad Malhotra agrees on this point. He got a lot of fame for his debut role in the serial ‘Banoo Main Teri Dulhan’. But despite doing a number of telly shows he did web series like ‘Kashmakash’.

“OTT has become a part of life, especially post pandemic as the content is very progressive, bold and real too. It has made a market for itself not only for television actors, but even Bollywood is jumping onto the same.”

Some like actress Devoleena Bhattacharjee believe that both are equally good and one can explore different ways to succeed in either of them.

Devoleena became famous after portraying the character of ‘Gopi’ in ‘Saath Nibhaana Saathiya’ and also ventured into OTT with shows ‘Sweet Lie’ and ‘Lunch Stories’.

“I feel as an artist I wanted to explore the medium. And I enjoyed experiencing it a lot. Also when I’m offered any project, I agree only if it excites me. I don’t see much difference today. Both TV and OTT are equally good. Just that we have different audiences. On TV we actually have a chance to remain employed for a long time and also TV brings you more money and popularity. But OTT are finite series, and one can relate to the roles.”

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