While the big screen was always considered to be larger-than-life, a dream come true for many actors, it might not be all that significant now, says actress-producer Arushi Nishank whose web series ‘Kaphal’ is on the floor as a producer. As an actor she has done three music videos – ‘Teri Galliyon Sa’, ‘Wafa Na Raas Aayee’ and ‘Jo Tumko Jhooth Lage’. She will soon be seen in the film ‘Tarini’ which is also co-produced by her. She adds that with the digital boom, things have dramatically changed and a more democratic and talent-based set up has emerged in the entertainment industry.
“It is safe to say that the digital boom that we have witnessed recently has totally changed the way we view entertainment platforms. Now, there are so many different avenues to enjoy meaningful content for the audiences, and a chance to showcase true talent for the artists. The traditional idea for people of being a ‘star’ is shifting. OTT actors may not experience the same level of mass hysteria or widespread fame as their counterparts in mainstream cinema, but they surely are carving a niche for themselves in a space that values content and storytelling. It’s not just about being on the big screen anymore. It’s interesting to see how the definition of stardom is evolving with the rise of OTT,” she says.
However, OTT scripts demand bold sequences and crass language. Arushi Nishank says that, as an actor, she is comfortable doing this as long as they are not forced into a narrative.
“For me, it is all about scenes being justified in the story, they must be serving the narrative. I understand that with realistic content being on the rise, bold scenes and crass language may be important to convey certain emotions in a sequence. And so, in order to portray the character authentically, it is important to showcase the exact way a character thinks and talks, his actions and words. I think I’d consider doing these scenes it as long as they are essential to the story and are handled tastefully,” she says.
She adds, “The evolution of the entertainment industry, particularly in the digital age, has indeed brought about a significant shift in the portrayal of various aspects of life. The industry has definitely become more open in addressing topics that were traditionally considered taboo or only discussed privately. It’s like the entertainment industry has brought these topics right into our living rooms. I feel it’s a mixed bag - on one hand, it’s more open and real, but on the other hand, it can feel a bit overwhelming. As viewers, we also have a role in consuming media critically and being aware of the impact it may have on our perceptions and attitudes. It is a delicate balance between artistic freedom and ethical considerations. Ultimately, the goal should be to create content that not only entertains but also contributes positively to the cultural dialogue.”
Meanwhile, she adds that the younger generation of actors come across as being more aware of what is needed from them, while the older generation of actors come with the gift of experiences. Talking about the amalgamation of the two thought processes, she says, “The younger generation of actors have so much access to information and exposure that they come off as really polished, maybe even more than their age would suggest. There is a noticeable difference in the way they think, behave, and act compared to actors from older generations. It’s interesting how times are changing. In contrast, actors from earlier generations may have experienced a different set of cultural, social, and technological influences during their formative years. I guess this divergence in experiences can contribute to variations in thought processes, behaviour, and actions between different sets of actors.”
Ask her if she would like to be part of a web series, and she says, “I’d love to be a part of a gripping thriller or a thought-provoking drama series. Something that really challenges me as an actor and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats! I love watching shows that keeps you hooked throughout and what better than being a part of it.”
Talking about the web series that she loves to watch on OTT, she says, “I guess it has to be 'The Family Man' and 'Stranger Things'. I absolutely loved them! The balance between action, the humour and intense storyline in 'The Family Man' had me hooked throughout the two seasons. While 'Stranger Things' took me on a nostalgic trip with its 80s setting and supernatural mystery. They both have such unique plots and amazing performances that kept me glued to the screen.