Jisshu, Parambrata, Aaditi, Pratik, Swastika: Regional actors shine on OTT
The digital boom has been a blessing for many actors, directors, producers and technicians and most importantly for the audiences, who are enjoying a variety of genres and stories. While we have seen many actors blossom on OTT, some who perhaps didn’t get their due in films or were underutilised in cinema, additionally, there are a number of regional actors, who have now become quite popular in the Hindi web space.
Jisshu Sengupta, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Pratik Gandhi, and Swastika Mukherji are some of the talents who have not only dazzled the audiences with their histrionics but also found acceptance pan-India in the OTT space. Gandhi’s Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story made him a household name, Chattopadhyay made a mark with films Bulbbul (2020), Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi and the recent web show, Black Widows while Sengupta stood out in films - Shakuntala Devi (2020), Sadak 2 (2020), Durgamati (2020) and the recent web show, Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors and Aaditi Pohankar shined in web shows, She and Aashram.
“Due to OTT, the difference between regional and national talent is blurring. When someone watches Kahaani (2012), Pari (2018) or Bulbbul, and like it, they connect me and search for my other projects, including Bengali ones on OTT to enjoy them. The web has opened up these new opportunities, not just for roles but also reach across India and the world,” explains Chattopadhyay, adding he considers himself as an artist who works in the Indian film industry.
An established name in Bangla cinema, Sengupta did Hindi films occasionally till last year when he was seen in back-to-back projects and gained popularity in Bollywood. He believes the world is his stage and says, “I am an actor and open to good content. I have exciting films lined up in Hindi and Telugu and Bengali this year. Sometimes, I pinch myself to be sure this is all real and not a dream! Being a part of Hindi entertainment has been amazing. I have come this far with hardwork, faith and patience. Bollywood is the most popular entertainment industry in the country and one is about to reach out to more audiences.”
“OTT has brought talent from all across India into entertainment and that means audiences don’t see the regular faces in films and shows but also actors who have proved their talent in different regions of India and want to expand their horizons. It is a win-win for all- the creators, actors and audiences,” says an industry insider.
Mukherji’s tryst with Bollywood didn’t reap rewards till last year when she proved her mettle in web shows, Paatal Lok and Black Widows and wowed people in her role in Dil Bechara (2020). “Last year was just amazing as Paatal Lok and Dil Bechara put me on the national map. I got a lot of appreciation came from masses and critics. I try to present myself in a new ways and roles, so audiences stay curious about me. Working in Hindi projects means exposure to wider audiences and to the world,” she shares, adding she consciously chooses to not repeat herself on screen.
Chattopadhyay feels actors from various regions add their sensibilities to roles and projects elevating it. “I am lucky to get to work with people of different sensibilities, attitude and taste towards art and bring my own to the role,” says the actor, who is shooting for two films and two web shows this year.
After debuting in Marathi cinema and dabbling in Tamil films, Aaditi Pohankar rose to fame with popular Hindi web shows, She and Aashram. “Today, if you see, it is the actor who is ruling the space in Bollywood and the audience is hungry for good content. I realised that to appeal to nation wide audience in a Hindi project, I needed a strong script and I got them in both my shows. If you know the craft, the audience will accept you. I try to play characters that resonate with audience and they remember my roles,” she says the actor who is has two films releasing this year.
As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life and the audiences and makers seemed to have welcomed talent from across industries with open arms.
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