Art & Entertainment

Amol Parashar: OTT Has Provided A Platform To Actors Who Were Waiting For Their Chance To Show Their Talents

Amol Parashar speaks up about digital platforms and the immense success that he has received on them. He also talks about how he thought he would get typecast in comedy after ‘Tripling’ but filmmakers looked at him for roles beyond comedy. Also, he gives a sneak peek into his upcoming film ‘Nausikhiye’.

Amol Parashar
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Amol Parashar has been on rising on the ladder of success one step at a time. From ‘Tripling’ to ‘Sardar Udham’ to now ‘Nausikhiye’, he has been slowly and steadily making a mark for himself. He has been considered a funny guy owing to his immense success in the comedy genre on OTT, but every chance he has got, he has tried to prove that he can do serious roles and is aptly able to carry any sort of script on his shoulders.

Talking to Prateek Sur, he opens up about how life’s changing for him with the onset of success, and what is he looking forward to. Also, he gives a sneak peek into the world of ‘Nausikhiye’. Excerpts from the candid chat:

What’s your upcoming film ‘Nausikhiye’ on wedding crashers all about? Tell us a bit about the story and how it landed on your plate.

It’s a hilarious caper about two good-for-nothings who enjoy crashing weddings. At one such wedding, they accidentally run away with the bride which leads to a cat-and-mouse chase across the country as the families are trying to hunt the three down.

This is one of the first times when you’re doing a full-feature theatrical film as the lead. Are you nervous?

I have already shot 3 films as the lead, the first of which was ‘Cash’, directed by Rishab Seth and produced by Vishesh Bhatt. It was released on Hotstar last year and received great reviews and audience reactions. The other two are in different stages of post-production. So, this will technically be the fourth. I try to do projects only when I am very confident in the material and in that case, there is not much nervousness involved. I am excited and looking forward to shooting for this.

Does being popular on OTT create undue pressure on you while selecting film scripts? Like thinking whether the audiences who’ve loved you in the different web show characters, will they accept you in this film or not?

Like I said, I focus on the material more than the format that the material is for, so you don’t really worry about where the project is going to land eventually. In the last few years, I have done multiple films like ‘Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitaare’, ‘Cash’, ‘Sardar Udham’ and they have all found love with the audience. In fact, I have done more films in the last few years than I have done shows. The films came out on OTT because the theatres were shut due to the pandemic. So, I have already found a lot of appreciation and love in the film format.

You’re fairly seen as a funny guy, and you tried to break that by playing Bhagat Singh in ‘Uddham Singh’. Do you think that stereotype is still there? Like do you get more scripts for funny characters rather than serious ones?

After ‘Tripling’ Season 1, I had imagined myself getting only comedy work but that didn’t really happen. I guess that’s because a lot of creators, writers and directors had already seen a lot of my other work on stage, in commercials and in screen tests and they were aware of my abilities. In fact, I have consistently enjoyed getting and performing a variety of characters like Osman, a delivery boy in ‘Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitaare’, or Bhagat Singh in ‘Sardar Udham’, or Armaan, a hustling entrepreneur in ‘Cash’.

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Would you enjoy playing these characters which may have grey shades? Or are out-and-out negative roles?

I am eagerly looking forward to a good script where I can play someone with grey shades. I don’t want to do it just for the sake of it so I will wait for a script which is well written and where the story works for me as a whole as well. I would love to play an out-and-out negative role because that’s a side of me people haven’t seen yet.

You’ve been hugely successful on OTT. Do you think OTT is giving actors their due, especially ones who were not getting enough work from mainstream movies?

I believe OTT has provided a platform to a whole generation of actors who were waiting for their chance under the sun to show their talents. Most of the actors who are doing well on OTT right now were all vying for parts in films where the opportunities were not always doing justice to the amount of talent in us. OTT has given us a chance to show what we are capable of, and clearly, we have hit the spot as a collective.

Does the failure of a project hurt, or do you take it as a part and parcel of the job?

Sometimes you already know that the project hasn’t come together really well. It doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault, it’s just a matter of different departments complimenting each other. Of course, you are still attached to it and you do your best to make it come alive, but it doesn’t shock you when the audience doesn’t take to it very excitedly. So far in my career, I haven’t faced a circumstance where the audience’s reaction took me by surprise or was far in alignment with my own views.

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You have not been someone who has always been too aggressive on social media. But many consider social media to be a necessary evil in today’s time. What’s your take on social media?

Social Media is a major part of almost everyone’s life these days and maybe more so for people in entertainment because it gives you a platform to reach out to your audience directly and at your convenience. I guess the problem starts when you don’t know when to stop which leads to inconvenience. I have also realised that different people have different personalities and not everyone enjoys the same level of activity on social media. I enjoy self-expressing and connecting with people through this medium but I don’t force myself when I am not feeling it. I want to be in control and I don’t want technology to control me.

On a serious note, do you think films or shows have the power to alter people’s minds? Like can movies influence society?

Well-made stories can start conversations. Stories - verbal, written or visual medium, are a big part of human civilisation.

We’ve heard that you’re a big fan of sports. So, whom did you support this Football World Cup?

I love playing sports but am not always able to watch and follow sporting events. The last couple of weeks have been hectic with work and travelling so haven’t been able to watch much. I had wished that Lionel Messi gets to take home the world cup in his last outing, and I am so happy for him that he won the title.

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Where do you think Indian football is going wrong that we’re never able to reach to that level that we end up playing a World Cup?

Sport and systemic support to sport and sportsmen need to be brought about in the culture of our nation. These are things that don’t change overnight but we need to take slow steps towards encouraging, nurturing and respecting sporting talent in our country. There are already some improvements in this arena as compared to when we were growing up but it would take a sustained effort to bring it to a greater level.

On the work front, what next can we see coming from you?

I have shot for two films that are in different stages of post-production and will be announced soon. One is a rom-com and the other is a social dramedy. I will also start shooting soon for a Lionsgate film produced by Ellipsis entertainment and directed by Santosh Singh with the amazing Abhimanyu Dassani and Shreya Dhanwantry.

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