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The advent of streaming has not only been a boon for fresh talent. Many senior actors are also seeing a fresh lease of life in the careers thanks to the digital domain.
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Sushmita Sen: The actress, who was last seen in the 2015 Bengali film ‘Nirbaak’, made her acting comeback in a fierce avatar through the web series ‘Aarya’. The show is about how her protagonist Aarya is pulled into the narcotics business when her family is threatened. “The response to ‘Aarya’ has been overwhelmingly great. An entire team of fantastic people put this show together and we knew we were creating something magical with ‘Aarya’. However, even we could not fathom the kind of response it has received. It has been a really heart-warming journey,” Sen said.
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Saif Ali Khan: After hitting a rough patch with a string of failures in Bollywood including ‘Rangoon’, ‘Chef’, ‘Kaalakaandi’ and ‘Baazaar’, Khan’s career got a breath of fresh air with ‘Sacred Games’, which brought him back into the action. He is now looking forward to another digital outing with the web show, ‘Tandav’.
Image Credit: Ishika Mohan Motwane/Netflix
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Bobby Deol: After an initially successful few years, Deol hit a rough stretch with his silver jubilee run. He started his second innings with much-hyped multistarrers like ‘Race 3’ and ‘Housefull 4’, but these films did not help his career. Now, he has found a resounding return thanks to his starring role in the OTT series, ‘Aashram’. He was also the star of the Shah Rukh Khan-produced digital film, ‘Class Of ‘83’.
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Radhika Apte: She has earned widespread praise for her performance in web shows like ‘Lust Stories’, ‘Sacred Games’ and ‘Ghoul’. At present, she is hailed as the “queen of OTT platforms”. “Some actors have got outstanding parts. All the OTT platforms seem to be working on big productions only. I hope it’s not just a transfer (of content) from Bollywood to them. Let’s wait for a year or two. Consistency can only be checked over time. Right now, the platform is superb. There’s no doubt about that. The budgets are great, production and systems amazing, and work ethics in the right place,” Apte had said. “At the moment, the digital platforms seem to be giving women more court to play with many more and stronger protagonists,” she added. She was last seen in the film ‘Raat Akeli Hai’, which streams on Netflix.
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Jaideep Ahlawat: In his Bollywood journey, he featured in films like ‘Rockstar’, ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’, ‘Raees’ and ‘Raazi’, but failed to get the acclaim and fame that came his way when he essayed the police office in ‘Paatal Lok’. “People are admiring a police officer’s character who is fighting through a corrupt system trying to prove his self-worth and seek justice in a post-truth world. I even received messages from people saying that they could very well relate to the character and the struggle. It feels great to see your work being appreciated by people. It gives me a renewed sense of vigour to do more such brilliant work,” Ahlawat said after the success of the show.
Image Credit: IANS
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Amit Sadh: Few would still recall Sadh as the college boy in the teen tele-drama ‘Kyun Hota Hai Pyarrr’, or his emotional journey in the first season of the reality TV show ‘Bigg Boss’. His foray into Bollywood, with films like ‘Kai Po Che!’ and ‘Sultan’, was applauded for his acting, but these films did not help him much when it comes to garnering the limelight. That has happened in the streaming space. He has had pivotal roles in the digitally-released films ‘Shakuntala Devi’ and ‘Yaara’, and he also starred in the web series ‘Avrodh: The Siege Within’. He had made a mark with his role of a cop over two seasons of ‘Breathe’.
Image Credit: Amazon Prime
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Pankaj Tripathi: The actor was a phenomenon waiting to happen, given his abundant talent. Only, Bollywood didn’t quite have the roles after he made his mark with that small but impressive outing in ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’. Rather, his real turnaround happened on streaming, as the dreaded gangster Kaleen Bhaiyya in the web series ‘Mirzapur’, and ‘Sacred Games’, where he played the power-hungry Guruji. The acclaim to his OTT sojourns have opened up doors across platforms. At the moment, he is seen as a gangster in ‘Ludo’, which is streaming on Netflix.
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Namit Das: He was the cute college friend of Ranbir Kapoor in the 2009 film ‘Wake Up Sid’, but things didn’t take off after that. Rather, it was the digital platform that helped him prove his versatility. Das, who started his journey on TV with the show ‘Pancham’, and got noticed with the TV series ‘Sumit Sambhal Lega’, has utilised the web space to step out of ‘the good guy’ zone, notably with the show ‘Mafia’. He played Jawahar, a character with grey shades with aplomb in the web series ‘Aarya’, which starred Sushmita Sen. He also featured in the crime thriller ‘Abhay’ and star-studded series ‘A Suitable Boy’, out on Netflix.
Image Credit: instagram.com/namitdas/