Actor Abhishek Banerjee played the role of Hathoda Tyagi in the web series Pataal Lok.
Actor Abhishek Banerjee played the role of Hathoda Tyagi in the web series Pataal Lok.

Abhishek Banerjee: In the OTT space, the show is always going to be bigger than the star

Actor-casting director Abhishek Banerjee says star power doesn’t matter on OTT platforms, it’s only the content, and more specifically, the dialogues which hook the audiences.
Hindustan Times | By Rishabh Suri, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 11, 2020 06:21 PM IST

One should have been in fear of his menacing act as Hathoda Tyagi in Pataal Lok, but actor Abhishek Banerjee was left surprised with the way his character went viral, with memes floating on social media soon after the crime drama was released. So, it’s safe to say that he’s yet another star born in the OTT space.

However, of late, there have been murmurs about already big stars coming to the web space from Bollywood, and many wondering if that will threaten the level playing field. Bannerjee doubts anything of that will happen.

“The thing is, on OTT platforms, I think the star is always going to be the show runners and writers. It’s not easy to make nine episodes. I’ve worked in the film format, done television, films, theatre and web shows. For me, I find this the most detailed work. You will get stuck if there’s no detail. People have a lot of time to give that much concentration to web shows, understand what the character is saying,” says the 31-year-old, who’s also a casting director. 

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Bannerjee explains that due to this careful viewing by the audience, an actor’s biggest challenge is just their job. “He or she has to act really well, because there are no extra things like action routines, massive songs to make things visually thrilling. Your performance, the lines, dialogues are the basic core. The show is always going to be the star, and bigger,” he explains.

The actor goes on to name that the biggest proof of that is character names being remembered more than the actor who played it.

He counts, “Guddu bhaiya, Munna Bhaiya, Kaleen bhaiya (characters played by actors Ali Fazal, Vikrant Massey and Pankaj Tripathi in web series Mirzapur), they are not their original names, the character’s name is always going to be bigger. Also, Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s character in Sacred Games). So, I doubt there can be a star system on web, because if you see globally too, on OTTs, they have still not been able to draw audience just because of stars.”

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