Amol Parashar’s first acting gig might be in an acclaimed Bollywood film Rocket Singh: Salesman Of The Year, but it was the web space that truly introduced the actor to a wider audience and deservedly so. The interest and attention on Amol skyrocketed after his entertaining performance as Chitvan, a DJ running from debt collectors, in The Viral Fever’s (TVF) Tripling. Since then there’s been no looking back for Amol, who doesn’t take his hard-earned OTT stardom for granted.
The actor points out that, unlike films, the success of one web series doesn’t guarantee actors a loyal fanbase that will watch their next show or movie even if its content is average.
“There’s a little bit of known-face syndrome that people have here. If they watch me in some show on an OTT platform and they like me in it then they will definitely want to click on my other shows on that platform thinking, ‘Let’s see what Amol has done in this one?’ But at the same time, I can’t bank on that fact because the convenience of them seeing my face and clicking on a show also comes with the convenience of switching it off and watching another show. They will switch it off if they don’t like the show after the first or second episode and start watching something else that they find more interesting. While you might get them to click on your face, you can’t get them to keep watching a show even if it’s not great which is not the case in movies. If someone has bought a film ticket ab wo film dekhe ya na dekhe ussey mujhe fark nahi padta but usne paisa de diya," Amol explains.
“I think this is what keeps you on your toes in the web. Because the viewers might know you and want to watch you but they will see your next show or film only if they like it. You can’t purely bank on the fact that ‘main popular ho gaya toh ab main kuch bhi karunga toh chal jaayega.’ Personally, I tell myself to not get into a very safe zone. I try my best to give the audience something different from what they are expecting from me," adds the actor, who’s recently been appointed as the face of ZEE5’s campaign ‘Dekhte Reh Jaogey,’ under which the streaming platform is offering its annual subscription at Rs 499 and adding some of the finest TVF shows to its robust library.
However, Amol says there’s more freedom and willingness to take risks in the digital platforms than films, where makers usually try to adhere to certain cliched templates.
“There’s less risk-taking in films. Once in a while, you will watch a nice and interesting film that kind of breaks the box but then you keep talking about the same film for a year but there’s a lot of push that happens in terms of creativity in the digital space. It’s not like I’m making a journey from worrying about the box office to OTT because this journey kind of started along the same time when I started out in films. So, I definitely understand those constraints that come with the business of filmmaking that as of now do not exist on streaming platforms, at least on a creative level. On OTT, creators are pushed to come up with unique and unconventional content," Amol notes.