The month of March marks a year of lockdown where everyone, willingly or unwillingly, had to stay home for the greater good. While it was a tough time all over, one of the primary sources of entertainment left to us were digital platforms, and it was indeed a year of Over the Top(OTT) streaming some engaging and enticing content. Through Bandish Bandits, Aarya, Mirzapur 2, Scam 1992, A Suitable Boy or the January release Tandav not only has a new wave of storytelling been introduced, but cinema lovers also got to witness some impressive performances by actors that have been around for a while and some surprising new talents. Shriya Pilgaonkar, Ritwik Bhowmik, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Namit Das, Sarah Jane Dias, Harshita Gaur and Ankur Bhatia are a few of the names from the list of actors who have been appreciated for their performance and were part of some of the amazing stories streamed on various digital platforms. In conversation with Sweta Pendyala, the actors talk about their experience of portraying roles that received so much love from the audience and how they feel about being a part of the OTT wave.
Started her career with Sadda Haq on Channel V and went on to do web shows, such as Mirzapur, Sacred Games 2, Puncch Beat and Happily Ever After, Harshita Gaur talks about how content-driven shows changed her perception towards roles, the process of character building and how she is patient about the kind of roles she wants to pick.
Mirzapur, a Liberating Experience
When I signed for Mirzapur, the web was not that big. I came from a television background and I only knew ‘you are important if you are the sole protagonist of the show.’ I did Mirzapur because I wanted to change my course. We started in early 2017 when there were not many shows out and we had no idea where it would go. I did it because I wanted to be associated with Excel Entertainment and also it was a matter of trying. But, after receiving the response not only for the show but for my character, I understood that if you are a part of something that people love and watch, it makes a lot of difference. The whole experience of working in a show like Mirzapur has been liberating.
For me 2020 has been a fabulous year personally and professionally. I feel it is very important to have other sources of entertainment for you when you are not working. One needs to constantly work on skillset and I want to get back to dancing in 2021 which I was away from because of my knee injury. In terms of work I have become very patient about the kind of work I want to do.
Preparation for Dimpy Pandit
Playing Dimpy Pandit changed my view of picking a character and to be involved in something. Preparing for a role is never one person’s job and I am glad that my writer and director were available whenever I needed their help. It’s a cumulative effect you see on screen. In the season 2, the character grew and I was aware that there will be certain growth to the graph when I was told about the role but how, where and to what extent kept changing which usually happens in any show during the process.
The length of the character doesn’t matter
I have learnt that one needs to see the project in its totality. How and which character will people like and how will they relate to the character is a completely different thing. I may not have the same screen time as many others but how my character has been received is a huge understanding for me to go further in life about projects.
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