Abhay Deol: Bollywood producers don’t have money, talent to do what OTT does
Bollywood producers neither have the money nor talent to cater to audiences who want something beyond the popular and the mainstream, claims actor Abhay Deol. In this context, he notes that OTT platforms have emerged as a good space for independent filmmakers and budding actors to showcase talent.
“OTT platforms are a limited space for content, not at the mercy of physical multiplexes and single screen cinemas that usually get taken over by bigger movies, bigger studio films and producers that don’t allow space for newer ideas and talent to be exhibited. While the OTT platforms have to make popular cinema as they should, they have the ability to cater to those who want something outside of the popular and the mainstream. Only they can do that. Bollywood producers can’t do that. They don’t have the money or even the talent to do that,” Abhay tells IANS.
As an actor, does it make a difference to him if his film releases on the digital platform instead of having a theatrical release?
“It’s the wave of the future. While it would be nice to see something on the big screen, I’m not going to fight technology. I’m more concerned about making what I want to make, and being true to my product than I am about where it is going to be shown. Sure I’d love if it goes theatrical but if that means I have to compromise on my craft and creativity, then I’d rather go to an OTT platform. So it’s a bit of a give and take I suppose,” the actor explains.
Abhay returns to the OTT screen with the upcoming web series “1962: The War In The Hills” directed by Mahesh Manjrekar. On his character in the series, he says: “I play Major Suraj Singh. He is a family man who has a wife and a little daughter. He is extremely brave, loyal to his country, devoted to the Army, a doting father, a loving husband, never shies away from a challenge, he has a lot of integrity and is dedicated to his soldiers and his country.”
The war drama series reunites Abhay with his Dev.D co-star Mahie Gill. Opening up on his experience of working with her once again, Abhay says: “I was really looking forward to working with her again because I had such a great experience in Dev.D. I think she is one of the best actresses we have in the country. She is fiery. She can play varied characters and has that talent of nuance. It is easier to work with actors like her because of the way they respond and react to you. It helps you play upon their performance. She is somebody I like and respect. So I was really happy being paired up with her once again.”
While Abhay has created a space in the hearts of viewers for choosing unconventional roles and nailing them effortlessly, what does he have in store for fans who are waiting for him to feature in a mainstream commercial Hindi film again?
The actor laughs heartily and replies: “Let a mainstream commercial producer call me up and give me that, I’ll do it!”
He further explains: “What makes a film mainstream and commercial are the people backing it, not necessarily its content. Of course the content will be formulaic, I have no problem with that. But if I have to do something Bollywood, it better be with the bigger names. Otherwise it is going to go nowhere.”