Kirti Kulhari on web censorship: It comes in the way of complete freedom of expression, I’m not in favour of that
Actor Kirti Kulhari is currently among the biggest of names working in the OTT space. 2020 saw her show Four More Shots Please! returning with its second season and even bagging an International Emmy nomination for the Best Comedy Series, and she ended the year on a high note yet again with Criminal Justice: Behind The Doors fetching her rave reviews. Even her next, The Girl On The Train, is set to release on an OTT platform.
Her journey in films is cruising along smoothly as well, but it won’t be wrong to say that the web has helped her gain a solid footing. Excerpts from an interview with the 35-year-old:
You must be getting a lot of web offers. How are you choosing from the lot, are there any things that you won’t do?
There’s no particular criteria as such, also because I have a certain filmography now (Pink, Mission Mangal, Indu Sarkar, Uri: The Surgical Strike). People know the work I’m generally associated with, so I don’t get anything which is just random. Pretty much everything I’m offered, is in a space I want to do, but obviously I can’t do everything.
So, how do you manage to zero in on the kind of work you want to do especially on the web?
If I have five things, I want to be part of the most wonderful script and character. But, at the same time, I also need to see what is the team associated with it— the producers, platforms, the director. I look at all that as well. These are the few things. Also the kind of energies that would go into preparing and doing a particular character, the tougher the better. But, I should also have the right people around for me to feel confident that this can be worked on, and will come out well.
Has it ever happened that a script has been too good, but the backing wasn’t up to the mark? What did you do in such a scenario?
I generally back out because I know how much effort I put into what I do. If I don’t see the promise of it being made well and being done justice to in terms of making and releasing it, I do not like to get into it.
Of late, there has been a looming fear of censorship on web, and OTT platforms also came under the ambit of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Comment.
With the way the world is today, anything is a possibility. I’m ready for anything that happens. But am I in the favour of censorship? Of course not. I’ve always been in favour of certification in films as well, but not dictating what should be told and how it should be told. Censorship, for me, comes in the way of complete freedom of expression. As an artiste, I’m not in favour of that.
2020 really showed us the power of streaming platforms, with Delhi Crime winning an International Emmy and Four More Shots Please! earning a nomination. Do you feel that finally Indian talent and content is getting its due?
Yes, the world is opening up that way. This change has a lot to do with OTT as well, we owe a lot of things to it. Our work is reaching the world, and vice versa. Boundaries are kind of being destroyed for the better.
I also feel we cannot complain about not being a part of the international (scene) because I really think we don’t create enough stuff which is actually worthy of being showcased internationally. When I look at them and what we create, I’m seldom satisfied with what we do. I think rather than being ‘Oh my God, why aren’t we acknowledged internationally?’, we should work harder and be sincere towards what we do, to create stuff that’s worthy. It happened in some way in 2020. If we keep going after it with the right attitude, I’m sure it will happen this year and every year.
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