Art & Entertainment

JD Chakravarthy: I Believe Films Are Like Girlfriends And OTT Is Like A Wife

JD Chakravarthy opens up about his new show ‘Dayaa’, how the makers already have the next three season’s story in place, how he is enjoying the web series medium, the ongoing OTT boom in India, and his cult classic ‘Satya’ completing 25 years.

JD Chakravarthy
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Dayaa’ has been garnering a great response from all over. The Disney+ Hotstar show is being lauded as one of the best crime thrillers to have come up this year. Leading from the front is JD Chakravarthy who has given an exceptional performance in the 8-Episodic show. His act as Dayaa was brilliant and he has been lauded for the same a lot.

“To Start With, thanks a ton to all the viewers and the media,” says JD Chakravarthy, talking to Prateek Sur. In the same conversation, he also opens up about why he said yes to the show, how the makers already have the next three season’s story in place, how he is enjoying the web series medium, the ongoing OTT boom in India, and his cult classic ‘Satya’ completing 25 years. Excerpts:

‘Dayaa’ has become the talk of the town ever since the trailer was released. Tell us a bit about your character.

Am I ‘Dayaa’? Or trying to be ‘Dayaa’? Or I am Somebody else? So to know more about my character you need to step into my world (‘Dayaa’s World).

What was that one thing about the character that made you say ‘Yes’ to the show?

Apart from my director Pavan, the only other reason was my director Pavan for me to say ‘Yes’. I forget to mention, it was also my director Pavan.

Do you feel that this thriller murder mystery genre hasn’t been explored that much in Indian cinema, especially in the Hindi film industry?

I disagree with that. Indian cinema or Hindi films have been exploring the mystery genre for a long time. It’s only that the makers were always unsure if this genre works beyond a point or not. So that very thought was making the makers not explore much.

‘Dayaa’ is your second web series after ‘Taaza Khabar’. Are you enjoying this web series medium?

Yes, of course – from living it to loving it.

How do you look at this OTT boom in India? Is it a good change? Or do you feel it's eating into the theatrical business?

Well, this question was raised (as well) when the TV medium was booming. Well, I believe films are like girlfriends and OTT is like a wife. Your girlfriends have to be better than your friend’s girlfriend and if you find a better girl you may ditch your present one (All this is in the context of cinema). Like you always want the next film release to be better than this week’s release and you may miss seeing the present film if you find the other film interesting. But OTT is like a wife. She is always there for you, no conditions applied. You don’t mind giving more time and understanding her.

How does one measure stardom when it comes to OTT? Or like the success of a web series?

Simply just raise your salary by double and if they are willing to pay you, that means the series has worked and your stardom is labouring (Laughs).

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You have worked in Bollywood as well as many south film industries. How is the working culture different in each film industry?

No difference. It’s a myth that the other industry is always better. It’s just like your friend’s wife is more good-looking than yours and vice versa.

In Bollywood, you were the biggest name after films like ‘Shiva’ and ‘Satya’. Why did you not capitalise on that stardom and become a big star in Bollywood? You much rather decided to stick to Southern cinema.

Well, I became a bigger star in the South and was busy milking and using stardom and making more monies by showing these Bollywood film’s success in the South (Laughs).

I can’t let you leave without asking you about Satya. Recently there was a reunion of ‘Satya’ where Manoj Bajpayee, Saurabh Shukla, Ram Gopal Varma, and Shefali Shah were all present. Didn’t you get invited to that reunion?

Well, while they were enjoying the success of what we made 25 years back, I was busy in ‘Dayaa’ which will also be celebrated after 25 years (Laughs).

Do you ever feel that Bhiku Matre became more popular than Satya? As in Manoj Bajpayee’s character became more popular than yours despite you being the hero?

Well, I have never heard that Satya was part of Bhiku Matre, right? It’s the other way around. Bhiku Matre will always be from ‘Satya’. So that says it all.

If you had to discuss one takeaway from a series like ‘Dayaa’, what would that takeaway be, that you’ll always remember for life?

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Well, I so wish you would ask me this question after the 10th season of ‘Dayaa’. My director already narrated to me the 4th season story while shooting for season 1.

Lastly, what next after this can we see you after ‘Dayaa’?

‘Dayaa 2’, ‘Taaza Khabar 2’ and one more Hindi series directed by Saurabh Varma which is in post-production. Also, 3 films in Tamil and 2 films in Kannada (are in pipeline).

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