Actor Sayani Gupta is dying to do a masala potboiler. Having starred in Four More Shots Please!, The Hunger, Axone, and Baar Baar Dekho, the actor says, “I want to do a commercial entertainer. But, the character has to be interesting. I did Baar Baar Dekho and then Jolly LLB, where the character had a lot of authenticity to the way it was written. I’m dying to do an out and out song-dance thing as I love dancing.”
The actor, who is a graduate from the Film and Television Institute of India and has studied filmmaking and its nuances, doesn’t like putting films in brackets. “When I choose a story, it has to be interesting and can’t be ghisa-pita. I can’t be doing the same kind of roles again and again. I would get bored,” adds Sayani who has dabbled quite a bit in the OTT medium.
She was recently part of a panel discussion on Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films Evenings which had actors like Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Shweta Tripathi, among others, sharing their thoughts on the evolving platform.
“It felt pretty normal shooting during the pandemic. It felt nice being in a space with such talented people. It was a lovely group and felt amazing to be sitting with Nawaz and Shweta and Manoj sir and talking about the craft, the kind of directors, writers and technicians we are getting to work with on such platforms is really amazing,” says Sayani.
“The way content is being approached and made is really changing due to OTT. When I choose a script, it’s an instinctive choice. I do say no to some of the stuff that comes my way. But I feel fortunate that I have been part of such moving and potent narratives. OTT has really changed the palate of the audience. It’s no longer about having a big star in the movie, if the story is not good, people won’t watch it. The power lies in the palm of the audience,” shares Sayani. But she is quick to dismiss the notion that OTT is easier to do than films.
“There is a lot of competition within content, viewers can switch back and forth and watch something else if they don’t like what they are seeing. One can’t say that audience is dumb anymore. The diversity in the projects is huge. It’s no longer limited to just one protagonist, one heroine and one villain. You can make a film with nine protagonists and make it interesting. I believe it’s a good time to be an actor,” adds Sayani. Talking about her new projects, she says, “I have two films in production now. I’m reading a book for Audible. There is also a British show which is being shot from home with six actors who are from around the world. So I’m quite busy with work.”
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