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I am not looking at OTT platforms to give me acting opportunit­ies: Randeep

- Syeda Eba Fatima eba.fatima@hindustant­imes.com

OTT has, undoubtedl­y, emerged as a medium for artistes and makers to experiment — something that films may not always allow. Actor Randeep Hooda, however, says he does not depend on the web space for 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 web series debut with spy thriller CAT.

That being said, the Sarbjit (2016) actor does acknowledg­e that the digital shift, triggered especially during the pandemic, has led to a change in people’s taste in terms of content. “Because of the Covid-19 induced lockdown, people had the time and wavelength to watch a lot more content other than just Bollywood. This 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 that the audiences have stopped going to theatres. “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 the popular crime drama series 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 one of those shows that 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 character had its own set of challenges. “The screenplay of the show put my character in traumatisi­ng and 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,” concludes the actor, who himself hails from a small town, Rohtak in Haryana, and has been living in Mumbai for more than 22 years.

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