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Is there a bias against TV actors in Bollywood?

Even as members of the industry deny the same, small-screen star Ankita Lokhande thinks otherwise.

bollywood Updated: Dec 05, 2013 18:13 IST
Prashant Singh
Prashant Singh
Hindustan Times
Ankita Lokhande,Drashti Dhami,Hindustan Times

Most TV actors start their small screen careers dreaming about their big break in Bollywood. While some make it, most are resigned to doing bit roles in big films. However, that trend seems to be changing with actors like Sushant Singh Rajput and Ayushmann Khurrana successfully making the big switch with recent films. So is the trend changing for good?

TV actor Ankita Lokhande begs to differ. She was being considered for a role in Shah Rukh Khan’s next multi-starrer, Happy New Year, but she lost the part to Deepika Padukone. A few days ago, she said in an interview, “I was considered for this role... I don’t know why things did not work out. I think there is a prejudice against TV actors.”

So is there really a bias? “Traditionally, it has always been believed to exist. There’s always been a notion amongst people about TV artistes as overexposed entities. But it’s all about creating your own space and waiting for the right opportunity,” says Ayushmann.

Besides Ayushmann, Sushant and Prachi Desai have also made the jump, though Shah Rukh and Vidya Balan are possibly the biggest imports from TV. “The success of Ayushmann and Sushant has proved the notion wrong. TV actors are hardworking, sincere and have experience of facing the camera like any film actor,” says casting director Mukesh Chhabra, who cast Sushant in Kai Po Che.

Another TV actor Drashti Dhami was also in the running for a part in the Ajay Devgn-starrer Singham 2, but Kareena Kapoor Khan has managed to bag that role. We tried to ask Drashti about this, but she remained unavailable for comment. “The stars are the faces of a film. In other parts, you can cast anyone else — from TV or otherwise — as long as they fit the part. Maybe 15 years ago, there might have been some prejudice, but not anymore,” says film-maker Sanjay Gupta. “Even if one is overexposed, it only helps because people feel he or she is popular,” he adds.

First Published: Dec 05, 2013 18:10 IST