For actor Aahana S Kumra, the most exciting aspect of OTT is that no one knows what the “further offers” will be for her. “The web is an exciting place for us. You can re-imagine and invent yourself,” she tells us.
And this is something that is rare for female actors, they feel. “It (various types of roles being written) is absolutely refreshing for a female actor. For men, a lot of different roles/parts are written, and women get typecast. Everyone stereotypes you so much that you too can only do the same type of roles, you just start believing. But sometimes you are pleasantly surprised, and they (producers) give you a role that you would have never imagined,” says Kumra.
Actor, who has been a part of variety of web shows such as Will, Official CEOgiri, Sandwich Forever And discordant, recently featured a gray character block 2, Talking about the experience, she says that she never imagined being cast in a negative role, and is overwhelmed with the positive response she has received for it. “I really like the idea of playing a villain… something like an SRK (actor Shah Rukh Khan) Fear (1993). It was conceived for me by my producer Samar Khan. It’s amazing. It has opened a new place for me,” she says.
Elaborating further on what makes OTT such a hit among the audience, Kumra says that the respective stories and characters on the medium do the trick. “A lot of times I’m watching a show, and I think, ‘Oh this happened’ [with me], shows like this jury And Gulaki I have some favourites. Honesty in character, performance and writing were highly related jury, And, since I’m from a middle class [family] In UP, I could identify with the characters Gulaki, I think association with a character is very integral,” she says, adding that larger-than-life stories only work on the big screen.
Does this mean that she prefers to work only on the digital medium and not on the big screen? She shares, “I am very happy if I am offered a big film because it opens up avenues for you as it creates jobs, and you are seen a lot more. But I am also seen on OTT. It seems that even the smallest shows are liked because of word of mouth.”
While many A-listers like Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit Nene also venture into the OTT space, Kumra believes this is happening because “they are being given the kind of work they want to do”. She elaborates, “In movies, they get stuck with a certain type of role. They also want to play characters that are believable. For example, in do a favor, (Actor) Manoj Bajpayee’s character became so relatable because he has the same problems any middle-class man would have – struggling to be a father of rebellious kids and balance his work and his wife’s expectations. People saw relativity in the story.”
author tweets @nainarora8