Popular TV actor Drashti Dhami says she owes her career to the small screen but is going with the flow exploring the fairly new territory of the OTT space.
Dhami, known for hit serials such as "Geet – Hui Sabse Parayi" and "Madhubala – Ek Ishq Ek Junoon", made her digital debut with the Disney+ Hotstar series "The Empire" in 2020.
Coming from television, the 37-year-old actor said she had to undergo transformation as a performer to get used to the longer format of storytelling on the web.
"I will always be in love with TV. I am what I am because of TV. Having said that, I'm enjoying this zone because this is very different from what I have done in the past. This is more real to some level, more raw. In TV, we don't get to prepare for a role, here we do that a lot.
"There was a lot of undoing for me when I got on to OTT. I'm glad OTT has also welcomed me so nicely. I'm proud of where I have reached on my own today. I can never shut my doors to TV but right now I'm just going with the flow. I'm looking forward to more work on OTT," Dhami told PTI in an interview.
She will next be seen in the ZEE5 series "Duranga", the official adaptation of the hit K-drama "Flower of Evil".
In the upcoming show, the actor plays the role of Ira, a super cop who gradually discovers that her husband Sammit (Gulshan Devaiah) might not be as picture perfect as she believes him to be.
The series is directed by Pradeep Sarkar and Aijaz Khan. It is showrun by Goldie Behl, who has co-produced the project via his Rose Audio Visuals along with Shradha Singh.
Boarding "Duranga" was a no-brainer for her, said Dhami.
"When I got to know that Pradeep Sarkar, Aijaz Khan and Gulshan Devaiah were also a part of it, I thought I had to do the show. This is the first time we are having an adaptation of a Korean show and a show that has done very well," she added.
The Mumbai-born actor said she had to work hard to prepare for the character, whom she described as a woman who is strong both physically and mentally.
"I have never played a character like this, someone so strong. I had to work on my body language.
"We had a couple of chase sequences in the show, along with an underwater sequence. They would put weights on us to stay underwater during training sessions. The experience has been amazing."
Dhami said she admired her character Ira for striking the correct balance between her work and personal life.
"Her perfect family and husband was beyond anything else for Ira. Since what happens in her workplace kind of has a correlation with her husband and the past, the conflict in her mind between what to believe and what not to was the highlight of the story for me."
Like her co-star Devaiah, Dhami said she didn't watch the original Korean drama as she wanted to have a fresh take on it.
"I thought it's better to have a fresh take on what we are doing and in my own mind, I didn't want to compare. I didn't want those conflicts in my mind. I've still not watched it ('Flower of Evil'). Let's see. I'll watch my show first, then probably I'll watch it," she said.
The only K-drama she has watched, the actor said, was the superhit show "Crash Landing On You", starring Korean superstars Son Ye-jin and Hyun Bin.
"I'm not a K-pop, K-drama person. I have only watched one show 'Crash Landing On You' because my friends are into K-dramas. They said I must watch it. I felt it was very similar to Indian culture. But they are very lengthy and the subtitles kind of kill the buzz. You can either look at the subtitles or watch the show," Dhami said.
A nine-episode series, "Duranga" also stars Rajesh Khattar, Divya Sheth, Zakir Hussain, Barkha Bisht, Abhijit Khandkekar and Hera Mishra. It will start streaming on ZEE5 from Friday.