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Sharad Kelkar: Good actors who couldn’t make it on TV and in movies now have a chance, thanks to OTT

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He has done a tremendous amount of work in both TV and film and over the past couple of years, Sharad Kelkar has started to get acquainted with OTT platforms as well. The 44-year-old has starred in shows 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 godsend, Kelkar says he’s rather lucky to be able to experience different types of roles. Extracts:

Over the past year, OTT platforms have gained immense popularity. What are your thoughts?

I knew it was the future when I did my first project. These days, no one has time to sit in front of the TV and watch stuff for hours on end. People work, travel and don’t have time, so whatever time they have, they spend it with their families and don’t watch TV. So obviously OTT is the present and the future. Internet accessibility is so easy now and that has made it all easy.

What’s the best part about the OTT that sets it apart?

Good stories are told. Actors who couldn’t perform on TV and movies have a chance. Before, people didn’t have the courage to tell certain stories. There are also creative issues on television and in movies. Now he has given opportunities to writers, actor producers, anyone can show what they want. This medium started three or four years ago and rightly approached in India because of the population we have. Now we have so many platforms.

Do you think the platform is more accepted now than before?

People who were once skeptical about digital platforms are now embracing it. Previously, the only choice was cinema and television, which not many people wanted to do. Now they can do things on OTT as well. So, yes, people understood the value of the platform.

There is a lot of talk about OTTs, which creates a level playing field for everyone involved. How much do you agree with that?

This is a correct thing. Each actor has phases, drawbacks and advantages. Someone works continuously, some don’t have as much work. This was the case with most of the actors who were absent from the picture or who did not stand out in the movies and did not give so much importance. Now they also get a lot of hard work and awards. Their performance is appreciated. It’s a good time for all the actors, actually all the good actors.

With so much going on, how do you keep the balance in the battle between quantity and quality?

It depends entirely on how individuals approach their work and career. My approach is slightly different. I want to balance everything. I don’t do too much OTT, movies, or television. I want to balance things out even though I have a little variation in life. It’s not that I’m just focusing on OTT. If I do this my career will shrink because I will be overexposed on the web. You have to identify the path and design your career accordingly. Obviously good work comes in, you’re tempted to do whatever shows are on offer, but sometimes you answer tough calls and say no to a lot of great projects.

What is your process for choosing an OTT project?

It’s the same from the start, the storyline is important. That’s what helps me decide, if my character doesn’t have any contribution to the story, I won’t. If he’s right there in the story, I won’t even think about the project. Sometimes the platform also matters. I saw a lot of my colleagues who did a project but it did not see the light of day.

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