Maanvi Gagroo: Never had a film career initially, but then web changed the game for me

Actor Maanvi Gagroo says that web opened doors for actors, directors, writers, technicians and other creative minds, who weren’t being able to progress much given the binary existence created by films and TV.
Actor Maanvi Gagroo was recently seen in the film Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan.
Actor Maanvi Gagroo was recently seen in the film Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan.
Updated on Sep 04, 2020 01:27 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

While it’s only recently that mainstream names from Bollywood are foraying into the web space, for Maanvi Gagroo, it has been a reverse sort of journey — from OTT platforms, to Bollywood. She explored digital content way back in 2015 when she starred in Pitchers, followed by Tripling and Permanent Roommates the next year and then Four More Shots Please! and Made in Heaven in 2019.

“You see, film career toh mera pehle kabhi tha hi nahi. Web changed the game, got the artiste in me noticed. Web opened doors for actors, directors, writers, technicians, who weren’t being able to progress much given the binary existence created by films and TV,” says Gagroo, admitting that she never really had plans of becoming an actor in the first place.

A chance opportunity in a TV show in 2007 and a film in 2009 gave her hope, and she moved to Mumbai from Delhi to try her luck in cinema. “But I wasn’t getting the kind of work I was looking for in films, so I did theatre and ads, hoping things would change. And when that also didn’t work, web came as a saviour.”

Though she readily accepted offers on OTT platforms, Gagroo still sounds confused as to why substantial roles in films weren’t coming her way despite doing well in the auditions.

“May be it has something to do with certain set beauty standards as to how an actor should look like or may be they wanted someone else for certain parts,” says the actor, for whom things changed when she played the lead in Ujda Chaman (2019) and a pivotal role in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan earlier this year. Such parts, according to her, worked out given the exposure she got from the web.

However, Gagroo still isn’t choosing one medium over the other, and is happy being a part of both.

“Work is work, actors are actors. Difference between mediums isn’t there anymore. OTT has levelled everything. Content on the web is varied, there’s room for experiment, volume of work is high, so there are opportunities for everyone. Kis scale ya budget pe ban rahi hai, aur kaun hai isme woh nahi dekha jaata, only stories get promoted. Also, it’s a contemporary platform, relevant to the time and therefore has better acceptance,” she explains.

Talking about film actors now venturing into digital space, Gagroo says it’s time for the audience to take the call.

“Rather than voicing against nepotism and favouritism on social media, they should move over stars and face value and give everyone opportunity to showcase their talent. Audience can change the game, the time is now,” she concludes.

Follow @htshowbiz for more

Author tweets @Shreya_MJ

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Shreya Mukherjee is a senior content producer at Hindustan Times. She has spent over eight years covering entertainment, features and hard-news. When not writing, her passion for travel, literature, films and music gets her going.

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Sunday, January 23, 2022