The Family Man and Scam 1992 actor Sharib Hashmi: OTT has changed the definition of a hero
Actor Sharib Hashmi says the audience no more looks at actors as hero or supporting actor, at least on the digital medium.
Sharib Hashmi admits it without any qualms that the arrival of OTT craze in India saved his career from sinking. He had began his acting journey with the acclaimed film Filmistaan (2012), but things didn’t materialise the way he had planned.
“OTT platforms gave me a new lease of life, because my career was going through a rough patch before for a while. Though I did sign a few films post Filmistaan, somehow things didn’t work out the way I imagined. Career mein ek slump aa gaya tha, and then I got The Family Man, then Asur, followed by Scam 1992,” says the 46-year-old, who has now signed big films such as Vikram Vedha and Mission Majnu.
His portrayal of the character of JK, Manoj Bajpayee’s character’s best friend in The Family Man , fetched him a lot of positive reviews. It also shows how the praise isn’t restricted to the protagonist anymore. A good web show is one in which every actor shines equally.
Hashmi agrees that the definition of a ‘hero’ has changed. “Audience only looks at characters now, and not like hero or supporting actor. If they want to watch a hero, they go to the big screen, like Pushpa, RRR and Sooryavanshi. On OTT, they like to watch hardcore, realistic, at the same time engaging stuff,” feels the actor.
Films have always been considered bigger than television, and actors have over the years admitted the discrimination they would face if they hailed from the small screen. Even when the going was rough, was Hashmi advised to not work on the web, since it was new, and only focus on films?
He denies and explains, “No one advised me this, thankfully, and even if they did I wouldn’t have listened. But I was told ‘hero ke dost ka role kabhi mat karna, you will get typecast, sirf ussi type ke role milenge’. But when I was offered The Family Man, my opinion changed. If it’s a role like my character JK, main kud kud ke karunga, 50 baar karunga even if I get stereotyped!”
Getting such meaty parts in popular shows must have had a positive impact on his remuneration as well, we ask Hashmi. He says it isn’t as if OTT pays him better than films. “It depends on your work and the popularity you enjoy, that will decide your fees. OTT or films won’t decide your market value, it’s all about how good you negotiate,” he tells us.
His next OTT project will be the second season of The Great Indian Murder. He’s done it all- character with shades of grey, comedy, action- is there any genre he won’t touch?
“Maine aisa koi criteria nahi banaya hai, never say never. Kya karna hai yeh soch ke nahi rakha hai. I want a good script, director and production house, exactly in this order. And then the platform on which it will be aired,” he ends.