Actor Arjan Bajwa, who has gained popularity through his OTT shows State of Siege: 26:11 and Bestseller, debunks the myth that artists on OTT don’t become stars. Besides gaining in popularity, the actor says that he has loved the work he has done on the medium so far.
“Good work is always adding feathers to your cap. Both my series have done very well and both were distinct from each other. And the best part is that both were based on books. I played author-backed roles which I am very happy with. Good work, hit films or projects will always bring you to the limelight and I think, for me, it’s important that all my work is remembered. I do projects which are milestones in my career,” he says.
He adds, “I don’t think OTT has given any thought of competition to Bollywood. It has opened a new avenue of storytelling which is great because there are many stories where you can’t convey an entire story in 2-3 hours as some stories need time. And that way OTT has been a boon for those storylines which should be shown in detail. So, there’s no competition; rather it has added value to all the stories. Every actor now wants to do OTT because there are many different kinds of genres which are being explored, which are very interesting and very detailed. Sometimes, there are films that we don’t get a chance to be part of. Also, it’s not true that OTT actors are not becoming stars. Any OTT project or a film which is a hit, makes a star. An actor doesn’t become a star on its own, the project and work makes them a hit. Similarly, there are many films which release and go without any trace.”
OTT shows and films are often touted to have bold scenes and crass language, and the actor says that these are all a requirement of the story. “OTT doesn’t have any censorship but that doesn’t mean that just because there is no censorship, those scenes are put. They need to be part of the story, and, in most cases, they are. Thankfully, I’ve not really come across any stories where I have to do any bold scenes. Little bit of intimacy is shown in films and that is no big deal. Even my favourite film Fashion had some scenes but it is all a part of the story. It is taking the narrative forward so no actor refuses intimate scenes as long as it is done in the right way.”
Meanwhile, he says that as far as drugs and abuse are concerned, it is not fair to just blame movies and shows for it. “It is not the entertainment industry that has exposed everyone to abuses or any extra marital affairs, or sex or drugs. Let’s not blame the entertainment industry, it is up to certain people who started to take it out in the open. There are films, series, television series which don’t require any kind of sex talk or drug use, abusive languages to be used. Everything is as clean as you want it to be. It is all about your intention. If you want to showcase this in your show, the pipeline is open to talk about such things as well. But I would like to believe that cinema impersonates society and society always impersonates cinema. So, let’s stick to taking the right things and not make everything open,” he says.