Though web has emerged as a great medium for artistes who want to play versatile characters and experiment with something that films do not often allow, actor Randeep Hooda says he does not depend on OTT for such creative satisfaction.
“I am not looking for an acting opportunity from any OTT platform. I have got enough [on my plate]. I just do the kind of work that I feel like doing. So, in that sense it does not make any difference to me,” says the actor, who is soon making his series debut with spy-thriller CAT on Netflix.
When asked about one of his earlier remarks about how he holds a lot of potential that hasn’t been fully realised by the filmmakers yet, and if OTT might help in that regard, Hooda explains, “I feel creatively satisfied and I don’t need OTT to give me chances to bring out my talent. My earlier statement was made in a different context. It was about being called ‘underrated or overrated’ in the industry. I was talking about how after spending 20 years in the industry, filmmakers still approach me for interesting roles and see my potential.”
That being said, the Sarabjit actor agrees the taste of people in terms of cinema changed during Covid-19, thanks to OTT platforms. “Because of Covid-19 induced lockdown, a lot of people had the time and wavelength to watch a lot more content than just Bollywood, and it opened their eyes to a new, deeper and more touching cinema, which is not just glitz and gloss. OTT offered them something beyond the regular stuff and broke the chain, and that chain is being mended now,” says Hooda, adding that this nowhere means audiences have stopped going to cinema. “They haven’t turned a blind eye to it. They just want more,” he notes.
Talking about his upcoming web series, Hooda is hopeful that it will be on par with Narcos in terms of quality. “It’s a local story from the land of Punjab. And because we have gone local with the script of this show, I am pretty sure we are going to go global (in terms of reach). This is going to be that show, which will be watched not only within the country but outside of it as well, with the same excitement, intrigue and appreciation that we see for other international shows. It could be like the Narcos of India,” he says.
The teaser showed Hooda playing an intense character of a Sikh man, who is working as an undercover spy. Stating that every role requires “effort, study, absorption and a sense of bringing it alive within oneself”, the actor admits this particular role had its own set of challenges.
“The screenplay of the show put my character in humanly traumatising and very precarious situations, but as an actor, you try to believe in it as much as possible. Also, imbibing the spirit of a sikh — who is not really a gun-toting, bhangra-doing person as depicted in Bollywood films — is not easy. They are very spiritual, well-mannered people but if you rub them up the wrong way, they are quite capable of punching you in the face. So bringing out their simplicity and small-town life was challenging,” concludes the actor, who himself hails from a small town and has been living in Mumbai for over 22 years.
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