Those who have watched Netflix’s Masaba Masaba will probably remember the hunky artist Jogi who catches the fancy of Masaba in the show. Smaran Sahu, the actor who plays Jogi has often been seen in advertisements for Samsung, Gillette, Liberty Coolers, Park Avenue, Royal Challenge English, Hero Engines, and Chevrolet Cruze. Now he is set to play a rustic cop in the racy web series Bekaaboo 2 starring Priya Banerjee, Taher Shabbir on AltBalaji.
The 31-year-old actor says it was the multiple layers to his character Akash that reeled him in. “The character, police inspector Akash, comes from a Dharavi kind of place and so his vibe is pure Mumbaikar. He is a larger-than-life character who enjoys a flamboyant style of living. He enjoys a power equation with everyone, that dynamic also comes into play when he is interrogating someone as he enjoys making them uncomfortable,” says Smaran. Bekaaboo 2 marks his second outing in a web series.
His first was Masaba Masaba which had fans thirsting over his slick character. While he only appeared in five episodes in the Netflix series, Smaran says the audience will get to see more of him in Bekaaboo 2.
“OTT platforms are offering a lot more for actors like me. We have a wider gamut to experiment and perform with. It is an exciting space as you are spending the same amount of time you would working on a film. Films are still driven by stars and focused on stars selling the film, in that situation; outsiders like me don’t get much exposure. We are offered very small parts, which are not really integral to the script. OTT gives us that relevancy and chance. I will mostly be focused on OTT right now, but I’m open to films too,” adds Smaran who found shooting for the web series an “interesting experience to shoot in a pandemic”.
Like the first season, the second season of Bekaaboo 2 is also driven by ample skin show and sex scenes. With increasing concerns over censorship of OTT content, Smaran agrees that some shows may overdo sexual content just to drive TRPs.
“As an actor, I choose my script according to the part I play. There are certain shows whose TRPs are just based on such kinds of scenes. But I feel as an actor I can’t judge my work based on that. I took a conscious decision to play the role in Bekaaboo 2, there is nothing sleazy about my character. Yes, there is racy content in Bekaaboo 2, but there is more to it than just sex. It becomes an exciting thriller as the plot progresses,” says Smaran.
Like everyone else who found time to pursue long-forgotten hobbies during the lockdown, Smaran along with his fashion influencer wife Aayushi Bangar made a film titled Lockdown which they conceptualized, shot, and edited in a matter of two months during the lockdown.
With plans to direct more content in the future, Smaran is satisfied with the direction his career is headed towards.
“Things can always be better or worse. I consciously have driven my career in a particular direction. I have shown the range I can perform within. And I hope I get to keep doing that,” signs off Smaran.
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