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Caught in the web: Bollywood and TV actors experiment with internet series

Film and television stars are opting for roles in web series for creative satisfaction and a relaxed shoot schedule.

tv Updated: Jan 07, 2017 19:10 IST
Monika Rawal
Actors Angira Dhar and Ali Fazal in a still from the web series Bang Baaja Baaraat.
Actors Angira Dhar and Ali Fazal in a still from the web series Bang Baaja Baaraat.

Film shoots span months and years whereas TV shows demand 14 to 15 hours a day from actors. But artists want to experiment with new content and crave quicker results. What fits the bill? Web series.

Mainstream Bollywood names such as Kalki Koechlin, Parineeti Chopra, Richa Chadha, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Dia Mirza, Kunal Roy Kapoor, Nimrat Kaur and Vivek Oberoi are dabbling in the format. Some did a scene or two, while others have essayed lead roles.

Actor Ali Fazal admits he was initially reluctant of starring in Bang Baaja Baaraat. (Amal/KS HT Photo)

“It’s either good or bad. The verdict is there immediately enough. (Also), on a global level, we are in the midst of a revolution brewing. It’s not the web. It’s cinema in its entirety,” says Ali Fazal, who did Bang Baaja Baaraat. He admits being reluctant initially. “Little did we all know it will skyrocket.”

Shweta Tripathi, who shot for The Trip alongside Lisa Haydon, adds, “I don’t want to restrict myself to any medium. The web is booming. It’s entertainment according to your time and highly satisfying creatively.”

Rasika Dugal, who has done films such as No Smoking, Hijack, Tahaan and Qissa, and acted in web series, Humorously Yours, and Permanent Roommates, agrees. “Web series aren’t stuck to a genre or formula as yet... From the point of view of filmmaking, they’re tougher as you need to bring in detail in a shorter time span,” says Dugal.

Actor Deepika Singh made her debut in Diya Aur Baati Hum in 2011 and the show went off air in September 2016. She later featured in the web series, Real Soulmate.

TV stars, too, are treading the web path. Actor Deepika Singh of Diya Aur Baati fame, who is seen in the series, Real Soulmate, says, “My agenda is to work for a maximum of 3-4 days, which wasn’t possible in a daily soap. Now, I have a chilled out life and can please my fans too.”

Mansi Srivastava — a cast member of the series, Love By Chance — finds the creative side challenging yet exciting. “Unlike TV shows, web series are finite. Also, less dramatic, as they deal with almost real-life situations,” she says.

And what’s the pay like? Actor Angad Bedi, who worked in the series, Power Play, says: “The pay is really good. But more importantly, the content is good, very appealing to the audience. We shoot 5-6 scenes in a day, and it is shot in one schedule.”

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