Sharad Kelkar: Good actors who could not make in TV and films are getting a chance now, thanks to OTT
He has done extensive work in both TV and films and in the last couple of years, Sharad Kelkar has also started dabbling with the OTT platforms. The 44-year-old has starred in series such as Rangbaaz Phir Se, Special OPS, The Family Man, Black Widows and web released films such as Laxmii and Darbaan. Calling the platform a boon, Kelkar says he’s rather fortunate that he’s getting to experiment with different kinds of roles. Excerpts:
In the last one year, the OTT platforms have gained immense popularity. What are your thoughts ?
I knew it’s the future when I did my first project. Nowadays, nobody has the time to sit in front of the TV and watch stuff for hours. People are working, travelling, and don’t have the time, so whatever time they have, they spend it with family and not watch TV. So, obviously OTT is the present and the future. Internet accessibility is so easy now and that has made all this easy.
What would say is the best part about OTT that makes it stand out?
Good stories are being told. Actors who couldn’t make in TV and films, are getting a chance. Earlier, people didn’t have the courage to tell certain stories. There are creative issues too in TV and in films. Now, it has given opportunities to writers, actors producers — everyone can showcase what they wanted to. That medium started three or four years back and has rightly approached in India because of population we have. Now we have so many platforms.
Do you feel there’s more acceptance towards the platform now than before?
People who were earlier sceptical about the digital platforms, are now embracing it. Earlier, the only choice was film and TV which not many wanted to do. Now, they’re getting to do stuff on OTT as well. So, yes, people have understood the worth of the platform.
There’s a lot of chatter about OTTs bringing in a level playing field for all actors. How much do you agree with it?
It’s a correct thing. Every actor has phases, downside and upside. Somebody is continuously working, some don’t get so much work. That was the case for most actors who were missing from the picture or weren’t getting noticed in films and not given that much importance. Now they’re getting a lot of work and accolades, too. Their performances are being appreciated. It’s a good time for all actors, actually all good actors.
With so much happening, how does one maintain balance in the quantity vs quality battle?
It completely depends on individuals how they approach their work, and career. My approach is slightly different. I want to balance everything. I don’t do too much neither OTT, films or TV. I want to balance it out, even I get a little bit variation in life. It’s not that I’m only focusing on OTT. If I do that, then my career span will narrow down because I’ll be over exposed on the web. One needs to identify the path and design their career accordingly. Obviously, great work is coming, you get tempted to do all the shows that are offered to you, but sometimes, you’ve take harsh calls and say no to a lot of good projects.
What is your process of choosing an OTT project?
It has been the same right from the beginning — the story line is important. That’s what helps me decide, if my character has no contribution to the story, I won’t do it. If he’s just there in the story, I’ll not even think about the project. The platform also matter sometimes. I’ve seen a lot of my colleagues who did a project but it didn’t see light of the day.
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